ONE LORD ONE VOICE ONE VISION
A PASTOR’S CONFESSION CHARTING THE FUTURE THE LITTLE BROWN BOX The Magazine for Free Will Baptists OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2013
Journey of a Lifetime RETIREMENT: JOURNEY, NOT DESTINATION
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[contents] ONE 3
12 TO COMMUNICATE TO FREE WILL BAPTISTS A UNIFYING VISION OF OUR ROLE IN THE EXTENSION OF GOD’S KINGDOM.
ONE MAGAZINE ISSN 1554-3323 VolUME 9 Issue 6
Published bi-monthly by the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc., 5233 Mt. View Road, Antioch, TN 37013-2306. Non-profit periodical postage rate paid at Antioch, TN 37011 and additional offices. Postmaster, send address changes to: ONE Magazine PO Box 5002 Antioch, TN 37011-5002.
06 08 10 12 16 19
Is God Doing a New Thing?
22 24 26 32 34 37 38 42
I Was a Home Missionary Kid!
04 First Glimpse: Thank You 29 Intersect: Trading Cards, the Minor
Change of Mission My Parents' Favorite Child
Prophets, and Oxygen for the Soul
41 Leader Profile: Steven Earp 45 Brown on Green: When Will the
Charting a Course Where Christ Is Not Preached The (Not So) Normal Life of a Home Missions Kid A Wonderful Journey
54 One to One: 54,000 Reasons
Heard the News? Discussing Discipleship
17 News Around the World 31 News at Welch College 53 News About the Denomination
Sam’s Story A Pastor’s Confession His Wife’s Response Sudden Wealth: Blessing or Curse? Part 2
46 Retirement: Journey, Not Destination
48 Living Longer, Saving Less. 50 The Little Brown Box
Economy Get Better?
4 ONE October–November 2013
FirstGlimpse Thank You Bows, ribbons, stars, flowers, lace, curlicues… I shook my head in disgust as I worked my way down the card aisle. I couldn't help but wonder, "Do they even make masculine thank you cards these days?" After a diligent search, I finally found a no-frills, navy blue note with a simple "Thank You" in bold, white print. Perfect. (It was stuck behind a pink card with peacock feathers and a shiny, purple border. Yuck!) Later, while I penned a message in the card, I wondered again, "Have men stopped saying thanks?" As I considered my own shaky track record, I decided it is time to express some long-overdue words of gratitude: • Mom, thanks for the long nights you pored over schoolwork. I can still hear the click of your red pencil as you made corrections, wrote out detailed lesson plans, and passed down your work ethic along the way. (Oh, and thanks for not killing me the time I dropped a perfect lemon meringue pie on the way to Homecoming.) • Dad, I didn't need an alarm clock for the first 18 years of my life. Your accordion did the trick. That accordion—annoying as it was—signaled that you had finished hours of Bible study while I slept. Thanks for teaching me to love and respect the Word of God. • Mark Trout, you taught this shy, chubby bookworm that life is more than the end of the next chapter. Thanks for teaching me to "write my own story," accepting each challenge God places along the way. The adventure continues to unfold. • " You are a good writer. You should develop this talent." Mr. Shafer, you will never know how much those 10 words affected my life. Thanks. I still have the essay on which you wrote them. (It may have been the only "A" I made in your class.)
Okay, it’s your tu rn. to thank one pers I challenge you on send an email, po this week, whether you st better) send a ha a Facebook note, or (even ndwritten note. Never underestim at handful of well-p e God’s ability to use a laced words. • Bethlehem Church, thanks for putting up with beginner mistakes for 21 years. • Jack Williams, thanks for taking a rookie writer under your wing, teaching me the ropes, especially the importance of the third edit, and introducing me to the enchantment of Free Will Baptist history. • The Brewers—Jim and family—on behalf of pastors everywhere, thank you for your faithfulness. You continually remind me how vital godly, dedicated laymen are to the work of the Kingdom. Kansas State Moderator Zane Brooks recently said, "I just don't know what this state would do without Jim." I'll second that! • Thanks to ONE Magazine readers, especially those who periodically drop checks in the mail to help cover costs. Your gifts are far more than funds. You inspire me to keep striving for excellence!
You will find no flowers or frills on this page, but you can be sure the words are sincere. They represent only a fraction of the gratitude I feel for the many people who have made such a profound impact on my life. eric thomsen, managing editor
Editor-in-chief: Keith Burden Managing Editor: Eric Thomsen Associate Editors: Ken Akers, David Brown, Danny Conn, Elizabeth Hodges, Ida Lewis, Ray Lewis, Deborah St. Lawrence, Sara Poston, Stephen Nelson, Jack Williams Layout & Design: Randall House Publications Design Manager: Andrea Young Design: Sondra Blackburn, Marianne Mandrell Printing: Randall House Publications. While ONE Magazine is provided to the reader free of charge, tax-deductible donations are both accepted and appreciated. To make a donation, simply send check or money order to ONE Magazine, PO Box 5002, Antioch, TN 37011-5002. PHOTO CREDIT: Sean Warren, Mark Cowart, Eric Thomsen, Shutterstock.com, Istockphoto.com, Stockxpert.com, Designpics.com.
[Letters to the Editor] ONE 5
Jack’s Joyride I first met Jack Williams 48 years ago at Free Will Baptist Bible College (now Welch College). He was a senior; I was a freshman. A few years later, I had the good fortune of teaching at California Christian College when Jack served as dean. I also had the privilege to help him with the convention coverage for several years. He has always been a Christian gentleman and a consummate professional. He is definitely one of the good guys, always wearing a white hat.
Have something to say? Say it!
The editors of ONE Magazine look forward to hearing from readers. Your feedback, comments, and suggestions are necessary and appreciated.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send correspondence to: ONE Magazine Letters to the Editor PO Box 5002 Antioch, TN 37011-5002 ONE Magazine reserves the right to edit published letters for length and content.
—Larry Hampton, Antioch, TN
A few minutes ago, the newest issue of ONE Magazine arrived. As usual, the first thing I did was turn to the back page to read Keith Burden's editorial. What memories it brought back to me of my first church in Brooklyn, New York, back in 1954. A little girl who lived next door to the church was often out on the sidewalk playing hopscotch when I entered or left the church. She always greeted me warmly with, "Hi, Pasture!" I loved it. The Lord used her time and again to remind me that my primary responsibility was to "feed the flock." I never corrected her. —Charles Shepson, Ft. Myers, Florida
ONE Magazine will undergo redesign during 2014. If you have suggestions regarding the publication, from content to layout, please send your comments to email@example.com. The editorial staff welcomes feedback from readers.
Solid. Free Will Baptists remain dedicated to preserving the biblical doctrines that bring us together. With this in mind, the Commission for Theological Integrity will sponsor the 17th annual Theological Symposium, October 28-29, 2013, at Hillsdale College in Moore, Oklahoma. Make plans now to join this important discussion. Contact the commission to pre-order the latest issue of Integrity: A Journal of Christian Thought: Commission for Theological Integrity | 800-763-9222 | 3606 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37205
Commission for Theological Integrity
6 ONE Octoberâ€“November 2013
Is God Doing a New Thing? By David Potete
A New Direction for a Local Church Expect the unexpected. Someone gave me that advice before we moved to Chicago to start a new Free Will Baptist church. If I had only known how relevant the statement would be. It would surprise some to know that when we prepared to move to the Chicago area in 1991, we rented a house in the southwest suburbs. That suburb is located in DuPage County, one of the most evangelized counties in the state of Illinois. Before we moved in, my wife and I could
not sleep. We knew something was wrong. God had another direction for us. Fortunately, our entire security deposit was refunded, and we ended up renting a house in the city of Chicago. We have since bought a house because we are here to stay. We even have burial plots a few blocks from my favorite Chicago hotdog joint. I am glad we followed Godâ€™s new direction for us rather than going where others told us we should go.
[Is God Doing a New Thing?] ONE 7
After we rented a house, we began looking for a place to meet. We went from the living room to a second-floor office, to a storefront union hall. Some of these moves were typical of what church planters face. I originally thought our ministry would be more of a middle class, white church with a fairly good representation of Polish people. I even tried an adult education class in the Polish language. But every move we made took us more into a Latino area, and changing demographics made this even more so. In 2006, our church took part in surveying our neighborhood in a demographic study. When we began our church in 1991, the percentage of Hispanics in our area was 26%. In 2000, it was 63%. The more recent 2010 census indicated 87%. This survey gave us the kick in the pants we needed to become a bilingual church. You would think we could figure this out on our own. And, to be honest, we had figured it out, but we were not being deliberate enough for it to happen. God used the survey as a catalyst to take us in a new direction. We believe all people are truly equal before God, that God desires for all people to worship together. This is based on passages such as Acts 2; Ephesians 2:11-22; 3:6; 4:1-6; Deuteronomy 16:9-14; and many others. Paul did not take the approach of saying, “They must become like us for us to reach them.” He said, “I will become like them to reach them” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). What is the first thing we do when we send a missionary to a foreign country? We send them to language school. Should we do any less to reach those across the street? I am not saying we partake in sin to reach sinners. I am saying we must understand, embrace, and partake in other cultures to reach other cultures. We must overcome our fear of diversity! Before we came to these conclusions, we sang an occasional song or two in Spanish. It was, admittedly, a token effort. A token effort will not reach people cross-culturally for Christ. It takes intentional, deliberate, biblically-based, well-planned, all-out effort from the heart. Now, we are a bilingual church. Everything from flyers to signs—even our worship bulletin is in English and Spanish. Our English sermons are translated into Spanish, and before long, our Spanish sermons will be translated into English, all in a single worship service. We worship in both languages, rotating back and forth between the two, always providing translation. Our church is intentionally bilingual, rather than holding separate English and Spanish services. We have room to improve, and we’re still learning, but once we realized God wanted to lead us in a new direction, how could we refuse to follow?
A New Direction for the Denomination?
Changes in demographics around the country call for Free Will Baptists to move in directions we previously may not have considered. The largest minority in the nation is now Hispanic. Sadly, Free Will Baptists did not make much progress in reaching African-Americans when they were the largest minority. In addition, literally hundreds of people groups in the United States need to be reached with the gospel. To reach them, we used to go there. But, God has brought them here! It is not just the responsibility of our mission departments to reach our neighbors. It is your responsibility and my responsibility. It is the responsibility of every church across the country and around the world. I long for the day when it is no longer us and them…only us. Do not let your financial support for Home and International Missions be your total missionary effort. Sometimes, we may be giving to reach those around the world who are different, but doing nothing to reach our neighbor who is different. Missions should start at your home and your neighborhood. If you are not living missions at home, God can see through the dollars you send to missions.
Not Really New God has always wanted His Church to be a Church of the nations (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). I believe God is calling us to a new direction in the United States. It is an urban direction, and it is a cross-cultural direction. Are we willing to move in a new direction for God? For the sake of millions, I pray to God we are. Is being a multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual church for all churches? Maybe not. Maybe so. We have a few churches around the country engaged in cross-cultural ministry, but I know we can do more. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” This vivid picture comes from Revelation 7:9-10, and we are privileged to be part of it through the grace of Christ. I hope and pray we do not run from being a church of the nations, but run toward it!
About the Church: David Potete is pastor of Northwest Free Will Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois. Learn more about Northwest at www.homemissions.net.
8 ONE Octoberâ€“November 2013
By Chaplain (COL) Terry Austin
I had just left the base camp for a two-day mission visiting NATO outposts along the Kosovo and Serbian borders in the mountains of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. My chaplain assistant and I were as prepared for the trip as we possibly could be. We knew the designated route, and our vehicle was fueled and packed with all the necessary gear and provisions. My commander had approved the trip, knew where I was, and how to get in touch with meâ€”just in case something came up requiring a change of mission. The Macedonian countryside was stunning. Its people and way of life were different than that to which I was accustomed, so I did a lot of sightseeing as we traveled north to visit the soldiers manning the NATO outposts. As my mind wandered from one subject to another, I was content just to sit in the vehicle and relax for the duration of the trip. But, an unexpected sound startled me out of my comfort zone. It was the squelch of the radio alerting me that the Tactical
Like the Apostle Paul on the Damascus road, many of us have had to change the mission in our lives as directed by God or by someone with significant authority in our lives.
Operations Center (TOC) was calling us to return to the base camp as soon as possible. My commander changed our mission, so we immediately turned around and headed in the opposite direction to pursue our new directive. I remember that day so well because of the impact it made on me. I had it all figured out. I had a good plan. It was the right thing to do. My commander had approved the mission, and I had everything I needed to accomplish it.
[Change of Mission] ONE 9
Like the Apostle Paul on the Damascus road, many of us have had to change the mission in our lives as directed by God or by someone with significant authority in our lives. We find ourselves going in a different direction—sometimes the opposite direction—in order to accomplish God’s will. When that happens, and we begin planning the new direction, the journey and the obstacles look bigger than they really are, and the road looks a whole lot rougher than it really is. I recall leaving home and showing up at Parris Island, South Carolina, for Marine Corps boot camp. I was excited to leave home because of my parents’ rules. (Imagine that: I did not like rules so I joined the Marine Corps.) I soon made the necessary adjustment, and boot camp did not seem to worry me much. However, after trusting Jesus Christ as my Savior, answering the call to preach looked like an enormous task. That did scare me. What I did not fully realize was that everything I needed for the journey had been provided. I had a clear mission and the promise of God’s abiding presence, regardless how rough the road might get. Once again, I slipped into a comfort zone, thinking I was headed in the right direction. With full assurance of my salvation and a burning call to preach, I settled in for the dura-
tion of the trip. Then God did it again. Oh yes, He did! He surprised me with a new mission and direction, and this one really did scare me. When I left the Marine Corps, I thought I was done with the military, and I knew I would never serve as a military chaplain. I even told that to the Lord. I had my mind made up and knew exactly what I wanted. Again, I was at peace, so I settled in for the duration of the trip. It happened again. During the quietness of an invitation given during a missions conference at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, the “squelch” of God called me back into the military as a chaplain. This nearly scared me to death. But, I submitted to this new direction, and now for over 35 years, my Supreme Commander has not disappointed me. He has blessed me and my family beyond our imagination. Changing direction and adapting to a new mission is the challenge to doing and staying in God’s will. When those times come, I encourage you to welcome them and enjoy the ride . . . at least until God breaks into your life again. About the Writer: Terry W. Austin CH (COL) is IMCOM Command Chaplain for the U.S. Army. Learn more about Free Will Baptist chaplains at www. homemissions.net.
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10 ONE October–November 2013
child by Ron Hunter Jr.
Growing up, I jockeyed for my parents' attention. As a toddler I announced, “Mommy, the blocks!” (Translation—Mommy, I stacked three blocks!) Standing on the top of three steps, “Hey daddy, look” as I jumped off the top. Like most kids, I wanted them to notice me. I loved when mom or dad planned something just for me. To this day, I am fairly certain I was my parent’s favorite child, but I acted as if I were NOT their only child. I craved my parent’s attention.
When I became a parent, loving our first child came easy. Then my wife announced we were expecting again—sooner than expected. I remember worrying for several days about parenting two kids. Could I ever love a second child as much as I loved the first? Would I unintentionally show favoritism? I sought wisdom from one of my closest friends and mentors who had older children. After chuckling, he assured me the thoughts and concerns were normal, and the fact I was concerned would serve me well to insure I would not give either one a special colored sweater or coat. From the earliest moments, I noticed each of our kids was going to be his or her own person. As parents, we knew our calling was to help develop two dissimilar kids in their divinely diverse ways. Like most parents with more than one child, I stand in amazement in how uniquely each of them approaches life. I can name traits about my daughter that I admire, and I fully believe she will do some amazing things with her life. I can name some equally admirable traits about my son as he sees life through a completely different lens. The scary part is, I see myself in each of my children. Yet, my role as dad is not to make my kids into a mini-me (and the world breathes a sigh of relief). Yesterday, we built blanket forts in the living room and drank tea out of tiny cups. Today, they make their own decisions. Do they always decide the way I would? Thankfully not. Even while living close to Christ for three and a half years, the disciples continued to showed great diversity while still being “His.” Even as adults, I look forward to being a part of my kids’ lives and sharing events together. Their passions and careers
will most likely take them down different paths, yet our love, traditions, and family name will bind us together. I am deeply proud of them and, like my parents, I have a favorite son. I also have a favorite daughter. Kids have a way of showing us new ways to tackle life while still maintaining our principles. I would never be so presumptuous as to suggest Randall House—or any agency—serves in a parental role to Free Will Baptist churches. However, we do seek to serve the uniqueness of each of our churches. As the denomination ages, like siblings, churches diligently follow the path God lays out for them, even when those paths lead in diverse directions. If a church continues in good standing within the conference, they are family. As family, we want to serve them, love them, and share ministry together. In the midst of our “family” differences, we do not argue over larger issues like many denominations. We do not debate the inspiration, inerrancy, or authority of Scripture. We do not debate the virgin birth, deity of Christ, or the Trinity. Throughout our history, we have taken a strong stand for the significant issues. This will not change. Randall House champions our history, our Treatise, and most of all, God’s Word for all our family. Randall House truly has no favorites among the churches. We possess formidable potential as a denomination. Our differences make us stronger…but only when serving together. We pledge to help all our churches serve God diligently, passionately, and sincerely in their own ways. Although diverse, we remain family. Randall House has been committed to family ministry for over 50 years.
About the Writer: Ron Hunter Jr. is director of Randall House Publications. Learn more: RandallHouse.com.
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12 ONE October–November 2013
Charting a Course for International Missions
By General Director Clint Morgan
Charting a Course As I look back over my first two years as general director, I see a wonderful transition in our organization. When I first took the helm in February 2011, a financial crisis had battered our ship. When sharing this imagery with our board in December 2012, I stated: “We, the IM leadership, believe repairs are done, the ship is painted, sitting in the water again, and ready to hit the high seas. We are asking you as our board to help chart the course for the future.” The board set aside a day and a half at our April 2013 meeting to focus on charting that course. Even if a ship is seaworthy with a trained and prepared crew, adequate funding and resources are necessary to launch it and ensure it does not run out of fuel mid-ocean. All we do as a Mission is built on the foundational elements of the Great Commission. We are fully committed to taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. We are convinced, if people are won to Christ and properly discipled, then a biblically-sound, Christ-centered, culturally-relevant church will emerge.
General Objectives International Missions is the denominational branch charged with overseas ministries. Obviously, all Free Will
Baptists who serve in other countries do not do so through us. We understand that and will do our part to ensure that all Free Will Baptists who want to serve cross-culturally have the opportunity and preparation to do so. We desire to serve the denomination in the following ways: • Be the first option for Free Will Baptists who sense God’s direction for overseas ministry opportunities. • Be the coordinator (not controller) of Free Will Baptist overseas ministries. If someone comes to us, and we do not have a ministry for him with IM, we will work to help him find an agency or group with which to work. • Be the communications channel for all Free Will Baptist activities around the world. This includes those not serving under or with FWBIM. A Facebook page, sponsored by International Missions, provides an opportunity for all Free Will Baptists working overseas to share news, prayer requests, and praise items. This page will not be a forum for debate, but a call to pray for FWB ministries to the unreached. • Be the primary resource for helping Free Will Baptist churches in the United States understand and pursue cross-cultural ministries among unreached people groups in the States. If we can assist your church in reaching the immigrant populations in your community, please contact us.
[Charting a Course for International Missions] ONE 13
Field Specific Objectives We do not propose a massive shift in focus for IM. However, we are adjusting to changing realities in the world, among Free Will Baptist people, and on fields of service. We are, and will always strive to be, theologically and missiologically sound. To keep pace with the changes around us we will: • Work to become a true international missions agency by partnering with our existing national churches around the world to mobilize, train, and send international Free Will Baptists as they join the ranks of missionaries taking the gospel to difficult unreached people groups. • Discover and engage new unreached peoples - In fields where we have mature FWB movements. - In areas where FWB are serving with partners. - In new frontiers where God opens the door for us to partner with local believers . • Broaden our potential and increase our effectiveness by partnering with like-minded agencies in fulfilling the Great Commission.
• Resource and reinforce - Existing fields still in process toward a mature national church capable of carrying on the ministry (e.g. Japan, Bulgaria, Uruguay). - Our present ministries focused on reaching Muslims (e.g. Southern France and Southern Spain). - National churches as they reach their countrymen and especially as they target unreached people groups within their own countries. - Our existing partners and those with whom we establish new partnerships.
To the High Seas The course is charted, and it is time to take the International Missions ship to the high seas—a battleship, armed and ready to sail into dangerous waters to take the gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth. As a Free Will Baptist agency, the success or failure of this voyage depends on Free Will Baptist people. Let’s join in this effort, ensuring that our ship stays in good shape and on course, and that He receives all the glory.
About the Writer: Clint Morgan has been director of Free Will Baptist International Missions since September 2011. Learn more at www.fwbgo.com.
Unreached People Groups and a New Day in Missions
by Jeff Turnbough
Transition to Partnership Recently, I sat in Chame, Panama, in a circle with 20 leaders from the Panamanian Free Will Baptist National Association. We discussed the process of transitioning full-time, resident international missionaries away from a country where they have served for over 50 years. We began discussions on how to best help them continue developing the work. We also discussed partnering to send the gospel to unreached peoples around the world. What an encouraging conversation! Transitioning out resident missionaries does not mean the end of our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Panama. Interdependence is a core biblical value, and one that drives our partnerships. We hope to continue with our Panamanian brothers until Jesus returns. How we do that in the future will look differently than it did in the past since many Panamanian leaders have been in the ministry for as many as 20, even 30, years. The fact that we are having this kind of discussion with our brothers in Panama clearly demonstrates how much God
has blessed our joint efforts to pray, support, and send our missionaries to this country. God has heard and answered our prayers. An old mission paradigm described mission work as stages of relationships between missionary and national church—a transition from pioneer to parent to partner and, eventually, participant. As God blesses the efforts of missionaries, a national church is born, grows, matures, and reaches a stage when mature leaders participate as equal brothers alongside missionaries. This is precisely what the Mission is doing in Panama, as well as in other countries like Cuba, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, and India. The Church in these countries is ready, willing, and spiritually capable of participating with the North American Church to fulfill the Great Commission. It is a healthy and natural process for a mission agency to adapt and adjust to these changes in mission/national church relationships, moving on to new stages in our relationships. We have the privilege of living during historic moments in our movement.
14 ONE October–November 2013
Unreached People Groups As we have for many years, we continue to pray about the remaining 7,183 unreached people groups (UPGs) in the world.1 We are focusing on the top UPGs, and asking the Lord of the Harvest to show us where and when to engage new UPGs. We are already strongly investing in the second largest UPG in the world—Japan. (See the Top 20 Unreached People Groups.) We also think about major non-Christian religious groups: Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. We have works among the Hindus in India and the Buddhists in Japan. We can never forget that 86% of all Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists in the world do not personally know one Christian.2 Romans 10:13-15 is a powerfully pertinent missiological truth: we must support more Christians to be light and salt among them. (See the 10/40 Window map with the primary religious groups delineated.)
A New Day Dawns Although the Mission has faced severe economic challenges in the past few years (like many other Christian organizations in North America), God has continued to give us wonderful new opportunities. As we contemplate new efforts, we do so with different resources in mind—our Free Will Baptist brothers and sisters in other countries who truly desire to work with us to reach the last frontiers. What an exciting opportunity! Together, we can do more, reach farther, and better exemplify the unity Jesus prayed for in John 17. By creatively designing new ways to work with international brothers, we can continue to extend the Kingdom globally. Doing missions in 2013 and beyond is still about fulfilling the Great Commission, but our approach and methodology will not look the same.
For example, in his discourse to North American Evangelical Mission leaders in Chicago this past year, well-known missions analyst Patrick Johnstone (Operation World) exhorted mission leaders to stop thinking about missions in geographical terms, and to think about missions in terms of people groups (UPGs) spread across the world. Migration is a reality that favorably impacts missions, as we embrace it. Perhaps the best strategy for reaching some UPGs would start in a city near you (in the United States), or near our brothers in countries like India or Côte d’Ivoire. Four Nepalese evangelical churches (one of them an international Free Will Baptist church) and 15,000 Kurdish people reside in Nashville.3 According to the most recent annual report by the Institute of International Education, Saudi Arabia sent 34,139 students to study in the United States in the 2011-12 academic year, making it the fourth largest provider of foreign students to U.S. colleges after China, India, and South Korea.4 This calls for a different approach, with more cooperative effort than perhaps we have attempted in the past. Dividing missions into “home” and “foreign” is not necessary and may even distort our understanding and application of world outreach in today’s world. Stewardship demands that we think in new ways. Strategic partnerships and interdependent cooperation can make it a reality.
Commitment to Partnership In addition to efforts to work with national bodies of Free Will Baptists in countries like Panama, we also realize that it is good stewardship to partner with others to reach certain parts of the world and/or to carry out certain ministries. We have long-standing partnerships with Bible Missions International, the Baptist Union, International Training Alliance, the Center for Intercultural Training, and others. As we look
Tom Sr. and Mabel Willey (1936-1938) Mabel Willey (1969-1980)
Tom Jr. and Emma Ruth Willey (1962-1976)
John and Barbara Moehlman (1962-1964)
Bill and Barbara Phipps (1963-1967)
Estenio and Anita Garcia (1964-1970)
Bill and Glenda Fulcher (1970-1979)
Larry and Priscilla Inscoe (1971-1991)
Patsy Willey (1974-1976)
[Charting a Course for International Missions] ONE 15
to the future, we are asking God to lead us to form even more strategic partnerships that enable us to labor with the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission. The strength of Free Will Baptist International Missions within the context of our movement is the longterm commitment of career missionaries located around the world. For 78 years, our missionaries have been faithful to the task of living out the Great Commission. All of us (missionaries, local churches, supporters, denomination, mission agency, pastors, leaders, etc.), working together, have reaped a God-given harvest of believers, leaders, local churches, and associations of churches. We believe that continuing to work together, and adding the resources of our churches, in what were once our mission fields, to the efforts, we can trust God for a multiplication of our efforts to extend His Kingdom around the world. Collaborative efforts call for selfless and sacrificial effort on the part of all those involved. Ultimately, what God is doing is not exclusively about you or me, but about His Church working together with Him to redeem a people to Himself from every tribe, tongue, and nation. The Great Commission is too big a job for anyone to do alone, and it is too important not to cooperate in our work to fulfill it. At International Missions, we want to work together to fulfill the Great Commission. Will you join with us? About the Writer: Jeff Turnbough is director of field operations.
TOP 20 UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS People/Country Population Primary Religion Shaikh/Bangladesh
34,582,000 Ethnic Religions
Java Pesisir Lor/Indonesia
Isan, Northeastern Thai/Thailand
10/40 WINDOW 1 I nformation from the Joshua Project, retrieved June 17, 2013, from http:// www.joshuaproject.net 2 Information from the Lausanne World Pulse - Research Articles - Perfect Strangers: Christians Living Among Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims, Natalie Crowson, retrieved June 17, 2013, from http://www.lausanneworldpulse.com/ research.php/856 3 R etrieved on June 17, 2013, fromÂ http://journeyintoamerica.wordpress. com/2009/02/09/kurds-in-nashville/ 4 R etrieved on June 17, 2013, fromÂ http://www.arabnews.com/news/451890
Steve and Judy Lytle (1975-present)
June Arnold (1980-1983)
Stan and Brenda Bunch (1983-2011)
Eddie and LaRhonda Bowerman
Ron and Linda Callaway (1997-2004)
Justin and Leslie Banks (1998-2001)
Darrel and Lila Nichols (2003-2008)
Steve and Lori Torrison (2004-present)
Paul and Chrissy Colllins (2008-present)
16 ONE October–November 2013
Where Christ Is Not Preached By Steve Lytle
One verse has come to define who I am and what I’ve been called to do. In Romans 15:20, Paul speaks of preaching Christ—not where He has already been named, or been made known, lest he should build on another’s foundation. Quite frankly, that concept grips me. Obviously, it’s not that Paul didn’t believe and practice local church ministry. Everywhere he went—Damascus, Tarsus, Jerusalem, and especially Antioch (Acts 13)—he was involved in preaching, witnessing, teaching, discipling, and leading churches started by other people. But his specific call was to preach Christ in new and unreached places. Judy and I have been with International Missions since 1975. Rolla Smith, who recently went to be with the Lord at age 92, was the director under whom we were commissioned. We remain unequivocally committed to International Missions, believing God has called our agency to lead the denomination to take the gospel to those who have never heard the message of salvation. In recent years, we have seen a proliferation of ministry, both inside the United States and in foreign countries. Church plants are happening on the east coast, in the desert Southwest, Colorado, and other places. New church plants are wonderful and necessary. I also have friends who conduct ministries in places like Cuba, Mexico, Ecua-
dor, Honduras, and Haiti. I am thankful for their compassion and concern, thankful God has opened these doors of opportunity. It’s good for the people who participate, and it’s obviously good for those who receive the benefit of their expression of Christian love and compassion. At the same time, I would plead with our entire Free Will Baptist family— all 2,500 churches and 250,000 members—that we not neglect the “ends of the earth.” Multiplied millions of men and women will be born to live, die, and spend eternity in Hell. They will never hear unless someone who shares Paul’s Romans 15:20 burden and calling goes to them, lives among them, sows the seed, and patiently awaits the harvest. International Missions leads the way in that effort to reach resistant countries like Japan, Spain, France, and the Muslim world. It isn’t glamorous. Results are not always evident. Digging a work out of solid rock is much harder than going where a foundation has already been laid, or where a strong national church already exists. But, it is not “His will that any should perish, but that all
should come to repentance.” It may take a long time, but it is worth it. The Bible speaks of every “kindred, tongue, tribe, and nation” worshiping God, and Matthew 24:14 suggests that the gospel must go to the whole earth before the end comes. I believe our focus needs to be “bothand,” not “either-or.” While we labor to build churches in local communities, throughout North America, and on
“Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation” (Romans 15:20). foreign soil where significant numbers of believers and churches already exist, let’s wholeheartedly throw ourselves into the task of reaching the unreached and the unengaged. And Jesus will continue to build His Church around the world. About the Writer: Steve Lytle and his wife Judy have been missionaries to Panama since 1975. Currently, he serves as administrator and professor at the Free Will Baptist seminary in Chame. Learn more about how you can help Free Will Baptists reach the ends of the earth at www. fwbgo.com.
NEWS around the World>>> ONE 17
News Around the World Good News in Chitré Celebrates Anniversary
Alpedrete Church Officially Recognized
Chitré, Panama— Approximately 250 people attended the second anniversary celebration of the Good News Free Will Baptist Church in Chitré, Panama. A good number of those in attendance were from the community. Pastor Lino explained, “The church prayed on Thursdays for the anniversary. We asked the Lord to make it a significant event, not only for the Free Will Baptist family, but also an activity that souls could be reached with the gospel.” Stan and Brenda Bunch, former missionaries to Panama who planted the church, joined the congregation via SKYPE. “The Lord blessed us and this has encouraged me,” Pastor Lino said, “and the entire church. I am sure that many good things will occur thanks to the recent anniversary service at Good News Church.”
Alpedrete, Spain—In the country of Spain, it seems that all roads lead to a mountain of paperwork. At times, the bureaucracy seems endless. Recently, the Alpedrete Church Council completed paperwork to petition the Justice Department to recognize the organization as a legal entity. Each form led to countless others. Finally, the council signed the final documents and hand delivered them to the proper authorities. Told to expect a response in the fall, the church rejoiced when the approval was granted in July. Government recognition means the church can legally sign contracts and hold a bank account. The church is entitled to all protections and privileges the law guarantees. In the eyes of the community, the church gained credibility and permanence. The legal standing validates what members already felt: the Alpedrete church is real, a literal part of its community. A vision has become reality.
18 ONE October–November 2013
Norman Richards Called Home Antioch, TN—Norman Richards, former missionary to Ivory Coast, entered his heavenly home around 8:00 a.m., August 22, 2013. Diagnosed in April of this year with cancer, he was hospitalized several times as he battled the disease’s aggressive attack. On August 5, he entered Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, with pneumonia and breathing difficulty. After weathering several crises over the intervening weeks, he achieved victory. Appointed as missionaries in March 1966, Norman and his wife Bessie studied the French language in Switzerland and then arrived in Ivory Coast in 1969. The majority of their 28-year ministry was spent in the area of Agnibilekrou where they successfully began a church, trained leaders, and expanded into village evangelism. The Richards returned to the States in 1994 when Norman experienced a medical crisis with diabetes and a serious kidney infection. Damage to his kidneys made service in Côte d’Ivoire impractical. The Richards resigned in December 1994. Yet, their passion for reaching the unreached remained strong, and they completed six years (1995-2001) in Louisiana with Free Will Baptist Home Missions. When International Missions began its ambassador program (volunteer representatives who promoted the World Missions Offering) in 2006, Norman was one of the first people to sign on. At his passing, Norman served as minister of senior adults for Donelson Free Will Baptist Church in Nashville. Brother Richards leaves behind his wife Bessie and sons Gene and Randall and their families.
Provows Assigned to Bulgaria Antioch, TN—The Board of Free Will Baptist International Missions met Sunday night, July 15, following events at the National Association of Free Will Baptists in Tampa, Florida. During the session, Josh and Lydia (Dankson) Provow were assigned to Bulgaria. The Provows were approved for a two-year overseas internship with an unspecified destination in the annual board meeting earlier this year. Certain of the call to serve God overseas, the Provows expressed their desire to minister where needed most. Options were presented and, after much prayer, the couple began talking with Bulgaria’s current missionaries to confirm their skills and gifts fit the needs of the missionary team. Lydia was born in Alabama. Her father currently pastors United FWB Church in Dickson, Tennessee. Josh was born and raised in Fredericktown, Missouri, and grew up attending Coppermines FWB Church. Lydia earned an associates degree in Christian ministry from Welch College in 2010. Josh also graduated from Welch in 2010 with a degree in Biblical Studies. He is currently working on his M. Div. through Liberty University while pastoring First FWB Church in Weatherford, Texas. Married in 2008, Josh and Lydia have three daughters: Naomi, Phoebe, and Zoe.
Andersons Tender Resignations Antioch, TN—In a called meeting on August 8, 2013, the Board of International Missions met with Verlin and Debbie Anderson. Lengthy discussions addressed ongoing, significant differences in philosophy of mission and direction for the work in Côte d’Ivoire. As a result of the daylong meeting, it was mutually agreed the Andersons would tender their resignations. Verlin and Debbie Anderson were appointed in May 1997 as missionaries to Doropo, Côte d’Ivoire. The Andersons have three children. Cason and his wife Suzanne (Dean) live and work in Nashville, Tennessee. Cara recently received her R.N. and works in Nashville. Corbin began his senior year of high school (his first year in a traditional classroom) in Antioch, Tennessee, in August.
[The (Not So) Normal Life of a Free Will Baptist Missionary Kid] ONE 19
(Not So) The
Normal Life of a
Free Will Baptist Missionary Kid Lessons gleaned from the lives of John and Leah Postlewaite By Sam Postlewaite
At age six, on a Sunday afternoon, I was playing with my TonkaTM dump truck when a station wagon full of people pulled into the driveway behind the church. The driver rolled down his window and asked if I knew where the pastor lived. Proudly, I told him that my daddy was the pastor and pointed to the parsonage. That day, Raymond Reed met Johnny Postlewaite for the first time. The Reed family soon became dear friends and faithful members of our church in Vancouver, Washington. The Reeds lived in Portland, Oregon, and drove several miles every Sunday across the Columbia River to attend church in a different state. A couple years later, sensing both human need and God’s leading, Dad moved our family across the river to start the last of his works in the Great Northwest. The Reed family became charter members of First Free Will Baptist Church in Portland. The story is typical of my life as a missionary kid back in the 1950s and 60s. My parents met new people constantly, invited strangers into our home, saw folks saved and join the church, and then moved to another place to start all over again. By age 13, I had lived in five cities, belonged to four churches, attended six schools, and called ten houses “home.” Since relocating was the norm for our family, I just figured that’s the way everyone lived. I have since learned that constant moves are only normal for MKs, PKs, and military brats! I’ve come up with a list of five things my parents modeled so well that they left me thinking, “Every Christian must live this way.” I wish it were so!
20 ONE October–November 2013
Christians love God and serve Him—willing to do whatever and go wherever God directs. John and Leah Postlewaite left their friends and family in Missouri, and after a short stay in Oklahoma, followed God’s leading to the states of Washington and Oregon, over 2,000 miles away. Dad helped to establish several Free Will Baptist churches and became the first pastor of the churches in Milton-Freewater, Oregon; Wenatchee, Washington; Vancouver, Washington; and Portland, Oregon. Mom and Dad didn’t complain about the moves or, at least if they did, I never heard it. It would have been easy to talk about how much better life was back in Missouri, but they embraced the Northwest as their home, and they loved it. They made serving the Lord with gladness, whatever and wherever, seem normal!
Mom and Dad love each other with commitment and selflessness over convenience and selfishness. My parents often talked of their love for each other. With a boyish grin and a girlish gleam, they loved to tell how they started courting. Dad held to the story that he never kissed Mom until they were mar-
ried, but Mom seemed to remember differently. Of course, everyone knew Mom’s story was much more reliable. Dad’s grin went beyond words to say, “I love you!” And, to this day, Mom can’t talk about Johnny Postlewaite without a girlish gleam in her eye. Remember the Reed family? Dad performed the weddings of their four oldest children. They, along with countless others, saw true love and commitment modeled in the everyday life of their pastor and his wife. I have never experienced a moment in my life when I wondered if my parents truly loved each other. Oh, that every kid could experience the security of that kind of parental love and commitment to each other.
Parents love and provide for their children spiritually, mentally, socially, and physically. “These people must be rich.” That’s what Shirley, the youngest child in the Reed family whispered to her parents when they first entered our modest parsonage. Needless to say, we were not rich in material things. After all, Dad was on a Free Will Baptist missionary salary. But, I’ve thought about Shirley’s words many times since that day, and she was right. My parents saw to it that we were truly rich in things that mattered most. Spiritually, they led each one of their children to know Christ as
Savior. Mentally, they provided a great atmosphere for both practical and academic training. Socially, we were constantly around people at church, home, work, and play. Physically, we had everything we needed—though not always what we wanted—and we never went lacking. There was no question that John and Leah loved their children, wanting nothing but God’s best for us. This world would be a far better place if that were the norm in homes today.
Christians reach out to others and meet new people, show hospitality, win others to Christ, and disciple them. One major benefit of moving so often was that meeting new people became a way of life. Times were different then, and our parents never taught us, “Don’t talk to strangers!” Come to think of it, I don’t think Dad ever really met a stranger. If he did, they weren’t strangers for long. The day the Reed family pulled into our driveway, I actually talked to them and directed them to my Dad. They were one of many families welcomed into our home for food and fellowship on a regular basis. God used Dad’s winsome personality and Mom’s selfless hospitality to reach people, disciple them, and build churches wherever God led them. I’m thankful for the Christian love and discipleship modeled in our home.
[The (Not So) Normal Life of a Free Will Baptist Missionary Kid] ONE 21
Norm #5: Christian children grow up and serve the Lord, living out the lessons taught in norms 1-4. As an adult, I understand what a tremendous sacrifice my parents
made to pull up stakes and move far from home. But, as a child, I thought being a missionary kid was the greatest thing in the world! Washington is my home state, and to this day, I have fond memories of my childhood there. Some memories are of the beauty and grandeur of the landscape itself, but my most precious memories are
of serving the Lord alongside my parents. It was routine for us kids to clean the church, straighten hymn books, set up chairs, sing a special number, fold church bulletins, help in Bible school, teach a lesson, give a testimony, invite people to church, and help with whatever else needed to be done.
Again, all of that was simply normal. I thought everyone did those things, or at least, every Christian. God used those times and places and people to put a willingness in my heart, and the hearts of my siblings, to serve the LORD wherever He might lead us in the days and years ahead. We all remember Dad making the following statement both publicly and privately: “I would much rather have my children serve the Lord halfway around the world than to have them live right next door to me out of the will of God.” It saddened me when I learned that not all Christian parents are willing to pray that for their own children. Lord, help us to live in such a way that future generations will think it normal to seek God’s will and live it as the norm in their lives, too. About the Writer: Sam Postlewaite was born in Wenatchee, Washington, in 1957. He is one of four missionary kids born to John and Leah Postlewaite. He serves as administrator of Gateway Christian Academy, Virginia Beach, VA. Learn more about Free Will Baptist Home Missions at www.homemissions.net.
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22 ONE October–November 2013
I Was a Home
Luther Sanders’ life took a new direction when he left his home state of Kentucky to serve in the U.S. Navy when he was barely old enough to join. He was stationed on the USS Enterprise in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1941. He loved the people and saw a spiritual need in the islands. After the war, he completed his education and pastored Free Will Baptist churches in South Carolina, Alabama, and Missouri, but my father never forgot his burden for the people of Hawaii.
In 1959, when Dad and Mom answered the missionary call, Hawaii was set to become the 50th state. Home Missions was also prepared to take a new direction and open up the new state to Free Will Baptist Missions. The Sanders family was approved as pioneer missionaries to Hawaii. The dreaded word deputation became all too familiar to me as a nine-year-old, defined by a different church each service, the occasional church that forgot we were coming, and constant travel in our Rambler station wagon. But, deputation also provided me a rich education in my heritage as a Free Will Baptist. We made new friends who became faithful supporters of my parents’ ministry.
[I Was a Home Missionary Kid!] ONE 23
Hawaii sounded like such an exciting place to establish a church, but in reality, we experienced culture shock, loneliness, and constant hard work. My parents taught me that hard work is always rewarded…and quitting is never an option. It took three years to go from meeting in the basement of our home to buying property and establishing a church in Quonset Huts, and then nine more years before Waipahu Free Will Baptist Church was realized. The real rewards came in the changed lives of those who attended and helped us establish the church. Names and faces flash through my mind, and I stand in awe of God’s power. I was teaching Sunday School classes and Child Evangelism clubs by
the time I was 12. When I was 16, my parents adopted a baby boy and our completed family became even busier. What a blessing to grow up in the home of a home missionary. Mom often told me one of the hardest things was walking down the freezer aisle in the grocery store and watching me slow down by the ice cream, because both of us knew it was not in the budget. Getting a new outfit meant going to the local thrift store. Looking back, I don’t dwell on the have nots of those missionary years, but the multiple blessings of seeing God’s miracles in our daily lives. Hawaii is still a needed mission field. Free Will Baptists have one church for a state of 1.39 million people. Mor-
mons, Buddhists, and converts to every known religion work tirelessly to spread their message in the islands. The challenge remains for pastors today to take a new look at this state and accept the call. Someone had to grow up in Hawaii. I sure am glad it was me. About the Writer: Brenda Spruill works in the business office at Welch College. Learn more about Free Will Baptist Home Missions at www. homemissions.net.
24 ONE Octoberâ€“November 2013
Journey By Larry A. Powell
As my time as general director of Home Missions North America comes to an end, I do not plan to ride off into the sunset like a character from an old western novel. No, I am looking for the next new adventure, with places to go, things to do, and most of all, ways to serve.
[A Wonderful Journey] ONE 25
I can hardly believe I have spent 12 years at Home Missions. It seems like only yesterday that Wanda and I unpacked and settled in. We have experienced some of the most exciting and satisfying times of our lives. We enjoyed the thrill of mission work when planting churches in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and South Texas. Yet, even more exciting has been the opportunity to work with church planters across this great land as they win precious families to the Lord Jesus, see them baptized, and grow in faith. Time and time again, we have witnessed the mighty hand of God bringing thousands to salvation in Christ.
Thank you, dear Free Will Baptists, for allowing us to serve and supporting us, first as missionaries and then as general director of Home Missions. Thank you, beloved staff and dedicated Home Missions Board members, for your devotion and support. You have been a blessing to my life. What a joy to work with other departments here in the Free Will Baptist National Offices. The fellowship has been tremendous, and the friendships formed will be cherished for our lifetime. We are excited about new opportunities to serve wherever our Lord leads. This is an exciting time in our lives as we anticipate what lies over the next horizon.
Thank you for everything.
We l o ve you all .
26 ONE Octoberâ€“November 2013
News? By Roy W. Harris
The excitement was high as the moving truck backed into the driveway. The new minister and his family had arrived. The next Sunday, the preacher stepped to the platform, Bible in hand and pastoral gun loaded with an inaugural sermon. Hopes were high as he took the helm of the local ship of Zion. Fast-forward a few years. The minister drags slowly toward the pulpit. Head down, his sad countenance and demeanor telegraph that something is wrong. He slips his hand inside his suit coat and unfolds a neatly creased paper and begins to read. As he completes his resignation, the stunned congregation sits in silence. Some begin to cry. Others cannot believe what just happened, and most are simply numb from shock. A few days later, a moving truck pulls out of the driveway, and the local ship of Zion sends out a distress call for a new minister to take the helm. Unfortunately, this scene is repeated countless times in the lives of pastors and churches. Why do pastors not stay longer? Why do they leave the ministry at such an alarming rate? Consider a few suggestions to help churches keep good pastors and to help pastors enjoy longer tenure in churches.
[Heard the News?] ONE 27
How to Keep Your Pastor Longer Many churches become accustomed to losing pastors every few years without stopping to ask, “Is there anything we can do to keep our pastors longer?” Consider ten brief suggestions:
Birthday: Remember to do something special for your pastor on his birthday. Schedule a celebration ahead of time, prepare a special cake, and encourage each church family to bring a card and a small gift of appreciation.
Appreciation Sunday: Designate a day each year to show appreciation for your pastor. Don’t be chintzy! Be creative. Do something different each year to truly surprise him and show that you appreciate him—an all-expense paid weekend for him and his wife, a new iPad™ or laptop computer. The appreciation gifts should increase in value each year.
Christmas bonus: A week’s salary is a good place to start. The annual Christmas program is a good time to present it to him. Many pastors live far from their families, and the extra money comes in handy when they travel home for Christmas.
Anniversary: Recognize milestone anniversaries in his ministry at the church. The pastor probably has worn out at least five cars serving the church if he’s been there for 20 years or more. Consider purchasing him a new car and present it to him on that special anniversary. (Keep the smelling salts handy.)
Seniority: Recognize cumulative years of service. If your pastor has already served many years in the ministry, don’t treat him as though he started last week. Add another line or two to your church constitution/by-laws basing the number of weeks of vacation on the years in the ministry rather than years with the church.
Vacation: Reach a firm understanding with your pastor that when he leaves for vacation other leaders will handle all church matters until he returns. Resist the urge to call the pastor when he and his family are away for a much-needed break. Day off: Encourage your pastor to designate (and take) a day off. Reinforce it with the church family. Most church members get two days off each week. Make sure your pastor gets at least one.
Conferences/conventions: A Pastor needs encouragement, fresh ideas, and to recharge his personal batteries from time to time. Send your
pastor to state and national conventions. Cover travel, lodging, and meals (including meals for his wife). Fellowship with other ministers, encouraging messages, and seminars/ workshops will spark new ideas to help your church while he represents your church.
Retirement: Encourage your pastor to plan for his retirement. Set aside money in his financial package. The Free Will Baptist Board of Retirement has a great program to consider.
Raise: Give your pastor a small raise every year. Not giving a raise often sends the wrong signal to pastors.
How to Pastor Longer Congregations might be surprised to learn that most pastors don’t want to leave church after church. It is difficult to uproot the family, sell a home, and face the challenge of learning the personality of another new church. If you are a pastor who would like to serve the same church for many years, here are a few pointers: • Ask the right questions before committing to the new church. Ask for a copy of the constitution and bylaws and the church budget before you agree to candidate for the church. You can find out a great deal about the church and its attitude toward the pastor by examining these documents closely. • Begin the relationship on the same page regarding issues that will directly impact you and your family. Be open, honest, and straightforward. • Take a day off each week. This is crucial. Consider another day besides Monday; you’ll enjoy the day more. •E xercise regularly. You will relieve stress while maintaining your health. •F ind something you enjoy and do it. It is not a sin to enjoy life. It will provide a great diversion and let your mind rest from church problems and issues. •D esignate one evening each week as family night. Try not to let anything interfere with it. Friday nights worked well for us. Do things the kids enjoy and want to do. Pizza, bowling, or a football game—it really doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy it together. •N ever stop dating your wife. Call and ask her for a date. Email her a sentimental note. Pick up her favorite candy bar or flowers for no reason. Make her feel more spe-
28 ONE October–November 2013
cial now than the day you married her. She’ll be happier… and you will be too. • Prioritize and attend your children’s special events and activities. Whether ball games, school plays, or PTA meetings, your children will not remember every event you attend, but they will remember the important ones missed. • Attend the national convention, state meeting, and at least one other conference or seminar each year. This will keep you refreshed and encouraged. • Fellowship with other pastors. Take the initiative. Find a friend in the area and meet for lunch a couple of times a month. Pastors can share subjects with another preacher that should not be shared with his wife or laymen.
Final Thoughts Churches whose pastors have a long tenure tend to thrive. Stability brings comfort and calm to a congregation. The revolving door of pastoral change doesn’t have to be permanent. Churches generally love and appreciate their pastors. It is important to discern things that are important to pastors and be creative in letting them know they are important to the church also. Pastors should remember that the longer they stay at a church, the more effective they become. Taking care of personal, spiritual, emotional, family, and physical needs are paramount for a pastor to endure and make an impact for the church and the Kingdom. If pastors and churches can implement these simple suggestions, perhaps we will hear fewer moving vans backing out of parsonage driveways.
About the Writer: Roy Harris has pastored churches in North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He has served 16 years on the staff, faculty, and administration of Welch College, and served as executive administrator of the National Association of Free Will Baptists. Learn more about Welch College at www.Welch.edu.
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INTERSECT >>> ONE 29
Intersect Nothing unusual—that’s how the morning in May started. For me, the teacher, it was office work: class preps, checking emails, reviewing the calendar. A gentle rap at the office door broke the routine, though. Hannah, one of my Old Testament students, came in wearing her usual mischievous grin.
“I made the cards for you,” she announced, handing me an envelope. “The cards? What cards?” I was a bit puzzled. “The minor prophets trading cards!” she explained triumphantly, a bit exasperated at my languid response. I opened the envelope and sure enough, there they were, in full color, 12 cards, each with the portrait of a minor prophet from my class PowerPointTM slides. She had even included their “stats” on the back, just like the baseball cards I collected when I was a kid! My jaw dropped, and I know my heart broke into a huge grin. A few
days earlier in class, as we studied those 12 books, I had casually mentioned that students might learn these prophets better if we had a series of “minor prophet trading cards.” That was it—off the cuff, a passing comment intended to engage and pique interest in the material. Now, here they were, in my hands. Minor prophet cards! I can’t tell you how it encouraged me that Hannah picked up on my comment and took time to do something so thoughtful. I may market those cards—and split the profit from the prophets with her. (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.) Isn’t the Lord good? And aren’t His people so like Him when that note of support arrives just when you need it? Or when a friend brings the dinner you weren’t able
to prepare because an aging loved one needs your time and attention? When you look out and see a neighbor mowing your lawn because you just got out of the hospital? Encouragement is the spice that seasons the spiritual gifts with just the right flavor of hope. Whether it comes in large or small helpings, a simple word or deed you offer to lift someone’s spirit can work wonders.
Check out the Bible’s catalog of encouragement:
A friend’s presence encourages. Paul sent Tychicus to Ephesus “that he may encourage your hearts” (Ephesians 6:22).
A supportive word encourages. “Judas and Silas . . . encouraged and strengthened the brethren with many words” (Acts 15:32).
30 ONE October–November 2013
Hope encourages. “Encourage the faint- The challenge of responsibility enhearted” Paul reminds the Thessalonian courages. “We exhorted each of you and believers (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
Love encourages. “That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love” (Colossians 2:2). Fortifying faith encourages.
“I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:11-12).
Living in peace with each other encourages. “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6).
encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God,” Paul reminded the Christians at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 2:12).
A willingness to learn encourages. Paul instructs the Corinthians “so that all may learn and all be encouraged” (1 Corinthians 14:31).
God speaks to us “that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
“That their hearts may be encouraged,” Paul writes, “to reach all the riches of full understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ” (Colossians 2:2-3).
A number of my friends have shared with me who and what encouraged them. Virginia’s words of appreciation lifted Glenn. Kevin’s friendship strengthened Mike. The Aakre family’s presence and support has blessed Cassandra T’s life. Encouragement for Susan came from two high school teachers—one wrote her a kind note and the other hugged her! “I was encouraged most by those who lived life with a smile,” Kam noted, “despite tough times or a hard life.” A “care package” with goodies in college brightened Cassandra W’s day, and Helen’s kind words and lovely spirit did the same for Sandra. Bert’s notes of blessing boosted Beth. When Phillip and Mary were a young couple with infant twins, a kind lady sent them $100 grocery gift cards every month. What a blessing, and how encouraging!
Find someone you can lift up today. Encouragement is, as George Adams says, “the oxygen of the soul.” Intersect: where the Bible meets life is a regular column written by Dr. Garnett Reid, a member of the Bible faculty at Welch College.
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NEWS AT WELCH>>> ONE 31
News at WELCH 102 Welch College Students Make President’s/Provost’s Lists
NASHVILLE, TN—The Spring 2013 semester at Welch College ended with 102 students earning academic recognition, according to Provost Greg Ketteman. Twenty-nine students made all As and were placed on the President’s List—10 seniors, 4 juniors, 6 sophomores, 8 freshmen, and 1 senior post-baccalaureate student. Seventy-three students earned a B average or higher and were placed on the Provost’s List—9 seniors, 14 juniors, 24 sophomores, and 26 freshmen.
President’s List: “A” Honor Roll Kameron Ailworth (Fr.) TN Reese Brown (So.) TN Kristina Clem (Sr.) IL Jacy Congleton (Fr.) NC Emily Conner (So.) MI Tina Cozby (So.) TN Beth Cyrus (Sr.) KY Charity Dankson (Jr.) TN Kayla Gaddis (Sr.) NC Lindsey Henley (PB) TN Elizabeth Hill (So.) VA Thomas Hoffmaster (Fr.) WV Bethany Hovis (Jr.) MO Rachel Jackson (Sr.) TN Casey Lewis (So.) NC Jacob Manning (Jr.) NC Emily Parrish (Fr.) NC Aaron Pierce (Sr.) TN Catherine Pointer (Sr.) TN Christen Pointer (Sr.) TN Laura Riggs (So.) MI Kayla Sample (Sr.) IL Bethany Shope (Sr.) TN Candice Smith (Fr.) Canada Paula Stonerock (Fr.) OH Cherish Tuttobene (Fr.) TN Allison Wilkerson (Sr.) AL Samantha Williams (Jr.) AR Zurisadia Zuniga (Fr.) AR
Provost’s List: “B” Honor Roll Seniors
Jacob Culwell (Sr.) TN Nicholas Hampton (Sr.) TN Anthony Horton (Sr.) TN Stephan Knox (Sr.) TN Ariel Meighen (Sr.) OH Julie Montero (Sr.) FL Greg Smith (Sr.) MI Kacy Stone (Sr.) KY Frank Thornsbury (Sr.) KY
John Colinger (Jr.) TN Philip Easley (Jr.) MO Taylor Ford (Jr.) TN Joel Forlines (Jr.) TN Katy Fry (Jr.) MO Timothy Hutchinson (Jr.) MI Richie Kyburz (Jr.) MO Autumn Monroe (Jr.) TX Melissa Nelson (Jr.) NC Hope Sisk (Jr.) TN Josue Suarez (Jr.) FL Audrey Trotter (Jr.) TN Jared Wall (Jr.) NC Emily Whitworth (Jr.) TN
Loren Alexander (So.) AR Victoria Bell (So.) NC Stephen Bozeman (So.) GA Austin Deel (So.) TN Josh Dunbar (So.) AR Cameron Edwards (So.) TN Kenneth Engel (So.) TN Brooke Fondren (So.) MS Rebekah Gedeon (So.) MS Dakota Herren (So.) NC Collin Lane (So.) AR Derrek Lute (So.) OH Taylor McClure (So.) WV Amanda Mouser (So.) TN Kelsey Nelson (So.) NC Maria Petty (So.) IL Daniel Pugh (So.) TN David Reeves (So.) KY Johanna Riggs (So.) MI Ariel Rowe (So.) GA Nathan Saverance (So.) SC Elizabeth Snow (So.) TN Kristen Trussell (So.) FL James Victor (So.) TN
Anna Campbell (Fr.) TN Staci Clarke (Fr.) OH Hannah Driggers (Fr.) SC Hannah Dunham (Fr.) OH Celeste Ford (Fr.) TN Jared Forlines (Fr.) TN Adam Giles (Fr.) TN Abigail Greenwood (Fr.) TN Rachel Hampton (Fr.) TN Victoria Harris (Fr.) TN Marissa Heeter (Fr.) OH Trevor Holden (Fr.) AR Michael Hollis (Fr.) NC Billy Kennedy (Fr.) TN Jessica Melvin (Fr.) TN Caleb Milling (Fr.) TN Rebekah Morgan (Fr.) TN John Newland (Fr.) TN Leslie Nichols (Fr.) TN Chris Pate (Fr.) TN Amy Pickett (Fr.) AR Hannah Price (Fr.) OH Hannah Skaggs (Fr.) KY Emily Thrasher (Fr.) MI Alyssa Trimble (Fr.) CA Zachary Vickery (Fr.) AL
Discipl 32 ONE October–November 2013
A Candid Interview With Robert E. Picirilli, by Michelle Orr
Disciples Disciple “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” “What must I do to be saved?”
Both questions seek the same conclusion, but the answers appear to be vastly different. Jesus told the young ruler to give away everything and follow Him (Luke 18:18). Paul told the Philippian jailer to believe in Jesus (Acts 16:30). Does Jesus have a higher standard than Paul? Or is there more to believing in Jesus than what many people think? Dr. Robert Picirilli grapples with these questions and many others in his recent book, Discipleship: the Expression of Saving Faith. Discipleship is the result of the author’s exhaustive study of the New Testament regarding the topic of salvation and what it means to follow Jesus. This brief interview shares insights about the author’s purpose and process in writing this significant work.
What caused you to write this book?
leshipDisc I am concerned about the problem of sin in the lives of professing believers. We have a problem in our churches and communities. Almost everybody we know claims to be a Christian, and at every funeral the deceased is said to be in a better place. But far too many of these are not living in accord with the revealed will of God. Are they really Christians? Do we use the word Christian too loosely? I decided to study the New Testament again and make notes on every passage that bears light on what one must do to be saved. Perhaps we have made faith something less than it really is. There seem to be two different “models” in the New Testament for how one is “saved.” The first is traditional, the one taught by Paul: salvation by faith alone. I call this the “transaction model.” But for Jesus, as He is revealed to us in the Synoptic Gospels, there is a “discipleship model.” Salvation rests in answering His call to radical discipleship. The book follows these two models through the New Testament, seeking to understand what saving faith really is.
How do you hope Discipleship will impact readers?
First, I hope it will make us more careful how we use the word Christian, making sure that it represents those who really have committed their lives to Jesus, in faith, as His followers. We must not reduce Christianity to so little that people can “qualify” without living in a godly manner. Mark Dever has said that if we allow people to presume their own conversion without showing evidence of it, we contribute to their “blissful damnation.” I fear that we who preach the gospel are complicit in the ungrounded assurance of salvation that many have.
leship Discipleship [Discussing Discipleship] ONE 33
Second, I hope it will lead each of us to re-examine ourselves in the spirit of 2 Corinthians 13:5. I have looked back on my own commitment to Christ, when I was sure that money and status meant nothing, and I would go wherever He led without hesitation. And I have asked myself if I have gradually taken back some of the control I handed over to Him. We need to evaluate our Christianity in terms of present discipleship.
What discussions do you want this work to spark?
I long to see us discussing at least three things: how we present the gospel, how we administer assurance of salvation, and how we do church. First, we need a revival of evangelism, and it needs to include facing up to the call of Jesus to be a disciple. I am satisfied that a disciple, in the New Testament, is nothing more than a Christian. Then, if we have not brought persons to discipleship, we have not brought them to salvation. Second, we must recognize that we really do administer the assurance of salvation in many ways, including how we receive individuals into our churches, and how we present the demands of the gospel. Assurance needs to be based on the evidence of obedience to God. Third, we need to figure out how to handle church membership in this light and how to practice effective church discipline. Membership in a church ought to signal that we believe the person to be a genuine Christian. A covenant relationship should define expectations. And, when members fail to keep covenant, a previously well-defined form of discipline should kick in, beginning with loving efforts toward restoration and leading to expulsion only after all else has failed.
You give a definition of what it means to be a disciple. Explain how “being” a disciple involves leaving, following, and learning.
All of Jesus’ calls to discipleship—and so to salvation— share three basic elements. We have to leave—renounce—anything else that offers a competing claim to set the course of our lives, whether family, mammon, or self. We have to follow Jesus as a new Master, putting the reins in His hands. This includes (as He said on many occasions) taking the cross of our own execution and accompanying Him to death. We have to learn from Him; this verb has the same root as the noun disciple and implies we have enrolled in His school to hear His teachings and to order our lives by them. That’s exactly what the Great Commission said: make disciples by teaching them to observe all the things Jesus commanded.
seship Disc How does the definition of sin fit into the conversation on discipleship?
To begin with, there is a danger that we may think of discipleship as perfection, and that can lead to either of two kinds of errors. On one hand, it may lead some to claim perfection in order to reassure themselves that they are really Christians. On the other hand, it may lead some, who recognize the basic depravity within them, to doubt their salvation. What’s important is to have a biblical concept of sin and of the nature of the Christian life. I have included a thorough study of the words for sin and the biblical definitions of sin. This leads us away from glib assertions about how sinless we are, because there are sins of omission and sins of the spirit. At the same time, a study of the little letter called First John enforces the truth that those who are born of God practice righteousness and do not practice disobedience. Bringing these two strands together guides us to realize that true disciples, while not perfect, can be recognized in this way. This keeps us from giving assurance of salvation to those who are characterized by sinful lifestyles—regardless what name they wear or claim they make.
cipleshipDi Why did you choose to examine the entire New Testament when writing this work?
I did that because the voices that have sounded a note similar to mine have based their conclusions almost entirely on the stance of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels. (This includes MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus.) That approach can create tension between Jesus and Paul, for example. For a complete understanding, we have to examine the whole New Testament—the Synoptic Gospels, John’s Gospel, Paul, James, First John, Hebrews—until we find a synthesis. I found, among other things, that Paul also knows the “discipleship model.” In James and Hebrews, a synthesis appears: obedience to God is the way saving faith expresses itself, not as mere evidence but as something essential to the very nature of faith.
About the Writer: Dr. Robert E. Picirilli spent his career teaching and in academic administration at Welch College, specializing in the Greek New Testament. He has authored or co-authored books from Moody Press, Thomas Nelson, and Randall House. He also served as president of the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges and moderator of the National Association of Free Will Baptists.
Visit www.RandallHouse.com to order Discipleship.
34 ONE October–November 2013
Sam’s Story by Brenda Steedley
“Four little bunnies live under the roots of a dering what it’s like in Heaven for her. big old, oak tree in Dingle Wood. This is Rocky. This is Daisy. All of the family was ecstatic when we learned in NovemThis is Blackberry. This is Fern. Fern is a helpful bunny. This ber 2011 that Shay was pregnant again. A visit to the doctor is Fern’s story”... and so begins a favorite story my grandchil- confirmed her due date as July 19th, Kevin’s birthday. We dren and I enjoy reading together. were overwhelmed with gratitude that God was giving us anEveryone has a story. God writes His story through peo- other baby and a very special birthday gift for Kevin as well. ple. In His eyes, no life is too short, too small, or seemingly, The next doctor’s visit revealed a strong heartbeat and the sotoo insignificant to tell His story. Such was the life of Sam nogram looked good. Our hopes were shattered when, at the Steedley. three-month mark, Shay had a miscarriage. How could this My husband Kerry and I have seven grandchildren. Mad- be? We were still grieving over the loss of Ginna. How could dox is 9. Becca is 8. Dixon is 7. Ruby is 6. Lexie is 4. They we go through this again? live on earth, near us in Mobile, Alabama. Ginna and Sam live I am very visual. The person I identify with most in the in Heaven. Ginna was stillborn on September 20, 2010. Sam Bible is Thomas. I want to see to believe. I knew I had another was miscarried on January 19, 2012, and this is Sam’s story. grandchild, my seventh, yet there was no evidence. The only Sam’s parents are Kevin and Shay Steedley, our son and visible evidence of this baby was some bloody tissue in a bag daughter-in-law. Sam has three sisters. Becca and Ruby are at the hospital, waiting for the time of a mass burial. lovely, healthy, and very active little girls. Ginna was stillborn I’m the kind of grandmother that, what I do for one grandbecause she had Trisomy 18 and was incompatible with life on child, I do for all. Ginna had a garden, and working in it had earth. We all got to see Ginna and hold her. We have pictures become my therapy. As I worked in Ginna’s Garden, I’d pour of her and other keepsakes given to us by a special ministry my heart out to God. I found the saying true: “You can bury a called “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” We had a full day of lot of troubles by digging in the dirt.” I’d planted a rosebush holding Ginna’s body, even though we knew her spirit, the for this new baby, but I knew I had to have a memorial garreal Ginna, was in the arms of Jesus in Heaven. It gave us den, a separate space, to honor my newest grandchild whom comfort to kiss her sweet face and caress her tiny body. I would neither see nor know until Heaven. But what would I After a graveside and memorial service, we planted a gar- call the garden? This baby didn’t have a name; we didn’t even den in our front yard in Ginna’s memory. Each grandchild know if we had a boy or a girl. planted a rosebush. We have enjoyed tending it and watching Of course, Kevin and Shay were crying out to God with Ginna’s Garden grow. We talk about Ginna as we work, won- their own questions and struggles. In his heart, Kevin felt he (continued, pg. 36)
[A Day With Sam] ONE 35
In March 2012, Kerry and I attended the Tennessee Senior Retreat where I wrote the following.
i W y Da
m a S
It started with a pleasant continental breakfast with former CTS Director Samuel Johnson and his wife. Of the 200 people in that crowded breakfast area who could have joined Kerry and me at our table, by God’s appointment I sat across from Mr. Sam Johnson. Church Training Service (CTS) was a significant source of my childhood Bible training. I vividly remember studying and competing in sword drills and declamation contests. What an honor to become acquainted with this kind, gracious couple. I learned that Mr. Johnson had taught school in Georgia, my home state, and those teaching skills equipped him to serve our denomination. As we walked back to our room I said to Kerry, “You do realize that we just had breakfast with Sam.” Thinking of our Sam in Heaven, I wondered if we had a Samuel like Mr. Johnson. During the morning session, Mr. Joe Jones’ dramatic recitation, “Go Down Death” brought tears as the Holy Spirit ministered to me. Eighteen years earlier (March 14, 1994) I had sat beside the casket of my mother. Reading the retreat program, I was intrigued to find that Joe Jones was from Samantha, Alabama. For lunch, Kerry and I went to the Apple Barn Restaurant. My eyes grew large as I read the letters-SAM, on our waitress’ nametag. “Could you tell me about your
March 14,2012 Pigeon Forge, Tennessee God gave me a very special gift today.
I had a day with Sam.
name?” I politely asked. This beautiful, vivacious young woman laughed and said, “Well, my name is Samantha, but they call me Sam because I was a tomboy when I was little.” After she took our order, I looked at Kerry and said, “We had breakfast with Sam and now we’re having lunch with Sam.” I had to know more. When this server brought our food, I continued, “I’m curious to know your middle name.” She laughed again and said, “I have two because my Mom couldn’t decide on just one. I am Samantha Elizabeth Dianne.”
enjoyed looking out our windows and seeing the Wurzburg Castle lit up at night. We were in Germany in 1984 and had visited the hospital where she was born. Shay’s family had also once been stationed in Wurzburg; her sister was born there.
I sat speechless. Finally, I was able to say to Kerry, “Do you realize that those are the three middle names of our Sam’s grandmothers in descending order?” Kerry’s grandmother was Samantha, his mother was Elaine Elizabeth, and I am Brenda Dianne. Somehow I felt there was a message from God in this for me.
I left the retreat pondering the happenings of that day. I won’t get to know my Sam until I get to Heaven; but for now it is enough for me to know that God knows him/her and always has. In the quietness of my heart, He has reminded me: “Before I formed Sam in Shay’s womb, I knew him/ her. I have been faithful throughout all the generations of your family. I’m not going to let you down now; my faithfulness endures forever.”
When Sam, our server, returned to check on us, I told her the name story and asked, “Do you mind telling me your birthdate?” When she said, “April 6th,” I almost fell out of my chair—Kevin’s and Shay’s anniversary date. Curious to know more, I asked, “What year and where?” “1984 in Wurzburg, Germany,” she answered, wondering where that answer would fit in. By this time, she also was sensing this wasn’t just coincidental. I explained that Kerry was a Chaplain in the Army, and we lived in Germany from 1983-1986. In fact, we lived in the Wurzburg community and
I told Sam, our server, about Sam, our grandchild, and why her name and birthdate were significant to us. She was gracious enough to invite us back for breakfast when she would have more time to hear about our family and tell us about hers.
Like Hagar in Genesis 16:13, when she called the name of the Lord, El Roi, (the God who sees me), I knew I had experienced God’s faithful care. In tender grace, He comforted my grieving heart and confirmed the significance of my seventh grandchild. God gave me a day with Sam, and through Sam, He gave me a clearer vision of Himself. He assured me that He knows the whole story. From beginning to end, He sees it all.
36 ONE October–November 2013
had a son. He had been studying about Hannah and Samuel including our Sam, and light a candle in memory. when Shay got pregnant and sensed God was sending him a Unfortunately, just one week earlier, Kerry had agreed to son for a birthday gift. Shay had been reading One Thousand speak that same weekend at a church homecoming service in Gifts by Ann Voskamp; this statement really spoke to her, Georgia. I was distraught. How could we not be there with our “Naming gives substance to our gifts from God.” She thought son? God, in His providence, arranged this. On Thursday evegiving the baby a name would make this gift from God more ning before we were to leave on Friday, a church leader called concrete for us all. to apologize. Due to a death in the church family, they would Each of our grandchildren have been given significant fam- have to reschedule. ily names. When Shay mentioned the possibility of a genderGod wants me to know He is intimately involved in every neutral name. I suggested Sam—for Samuel in the Bible or detail of my life. Because He made me and understands me so for Samantha, Kerry’s grandmother. By the end of February, well, He knew I needed that memorial service to bring closure our seventh grandchild had a name. I began making plans for to that stage of my grieving and allow Him to continue the Sam’s Space where each grandchild would have an azalea bush healing process. to watch grow as we talked about Sam. I’m thankful God patiently grows my faith. He leads me Having a stillborn granddaughter and a miscarried grand- gently and as His strong, comforting arms embrace me, I child has taught us many lessons. We are learning to comfort know that two of His little lambs, my Ginna and Sam, are others as we allow God to comfort us. Did you know that close to His heart as well. He gives me just enough substance October 15th is National Baby Mourning Day? Kerry and I to cling to and enough concrete evidence for what I cannot learned this when our son Kevin was asked to speak at a me- see to keep me encouraged. One day, my faith will be sight, morial service—a ceremony to recognize miscarried babies, and I will see Him (and Ginna and Sam) face to face. About the writer: Brenda Steedley, wife of retired FWB Army Chaplain Kerry Steedley graciously served for 34 years in the toughest job in the Army, that of Army wife. WNAC provides spiritual support for women in all walks of life. See www.wnac.org.
I’m ready. Are you? Let’s face it...no one wants to think about death. But death is an inevitable part of life. Have you prepared your estate in such a way that it will benefit your children and the ministries you love? Free Will Baptist Foundation recently partnered with Cornerstone Estate Planning to provide help in this crucial area of life. Free workshops are being held in your area. Don’t miss this opportunity for peace of mind. Contact the Foundation today to attend a workshop or to schedule one for your church or organization.
Free Will Baptist Foundation www.fwbgifts.org | 877-336-7575
[A Pastor's Confession] ONE 37
CONFESSION “I am a follower of Christ, a husband, a father, and a pastor. I am also an addict. My “drug” of choice—lust. The primary method of delivery—the Internet.”
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX I am alive and serving Christ today only because of God’s grace. Through complete surrender to the healing agents God brought into my life at a crucial time including Christian counselors, brothers unafraid to ask hard questions, and truth-based recovery programs, I can claim over a year of sobriety, not just from viewing pornography but also from the acting out that almost destroyed my marriage, family, and ministry. As Free Will Baptists, we’d like to believe that our pastors do not face these struggles. But why would we be any different than the rest of the Church? A survey of 1,351 pastors indicated 54% had viewed Internet pornography within the last year and 30% of these had visited a porn site in the previous month. Among those attending a large Christian men’s conference, 53% admitted to viewing por-
nography that week. Sixty-eight percent of guys surveyed at five Christian colleges recently said they had intentionally looked for porn online. Ministers and laymen alike, these are the dirty secrets we keep. Though I had been open with my struggle for more than a decade, involved in Christ-centered recovery groups, and had developed accountability relationships, I failed to maintain long-term, accurately-defined sobriety. With every slip, every relapse, I wounded my wife, damaged our marriage, and heaped shame upon myself. My greatest stumble came about a year after I had convinced myself that I could permanently hide a sexualized relationship, as well as the illicit online activities the relationship had spawned. I justified my attempts to keep these activities hidden, telling myself that God would allow this
38 ONE October–November 2013
cover-up to protect my wife from being hurt. That was a lie. The Holy Spirit had other plans. He led my wife to discover incriminating files on our laptop on the eve of a road trip in which I would have most certainly acted out physically with others for the first time. “The gig is up,” my wife stated matter-of-factly as I returned home from a hospital visit. That sleepless night began the process of repentance, confession, and seeking counsel to deal with the aftermath of my behaviors. By this time, I had no doubt this was an addiction. I could not fix our marriage or myself apart from God’s power and the resources He would bring into our relationship. By saying that I’m an addict, I am not downplaying the awfulness of my sin or its physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences. Nor am I saying I am not responsible for my actions. When my sins were openly confessed to a small circle of trusted believers and church leaders, they, along with my wife, extended grace to me and agreed to give me another chance to break free—this time, perhaps for the first time—with complete openness and honesty. Typically, the church as a whole (and our denomination is no exception) has not been a safe place to seek help with addictions of any kind, especially those involving sexuality. Recovering sex addicts often find great misunderstanding, lack of empathy, and much condemnation in the church. In many congregations, sanitized testimonies of God’s deliverance from sin speak of life change only in the extended past tense. Do we really believe God still changes lives? Do we offer any hope at all to the sex addict, the alcoholic, the drug addict, or homosexual? Whether or not my church or denomi-
nation supports me, my life and future ministry depend on the hope God’s grace offers, and His power to break the bondage of sin. I can relate to Paul’s words, “Such were some of you” in 1 Corinthians 6:9. Now I have no secrets. My wife and adult children, my counselors, sponsor, accountability partners, and recovery groups, trusted pastors in our association, and even deacons and other leaders in my church support and pray for me in this struggle. Isolation and secrecy allowed my addiction to
Isolation and secrecy allowed my addiction to flourish and sinful behaviors to spiral downward flourish and sinful behaviors to spiral downward, pulling me—and those I love—toward the very pit of Hell. As they say in recovery circles, I was only as sick as my secrets. Does everyone in our congregation know the details? No, but they know I preach grace and the power of God to deliver from sin and addiction. This is the message I also share within our community. If you are a pastor or layperson struggling with sexual sin, Internet pornography, or compulsive sexual behavior of any kind, please don’t try to deal with it alone. Even if you believe your local church or association is unlikely to extend grace, find help and healing in the greater body of Christ and among Christians in the recovery community. It may be challenging at first, but God will provide the people and resources to support you and help you live a life free of sexual sin. “The truth shall make you free” (John 8:32b).
Note to pastors/ministry leaders: For information regarding a free book on sex addiction, contact email@example.com (mention this article). Struggling? Visit www.sainministry.org. This dedicated site for those in ministry dealing with sexual addiction offers information and resources including anonymous teleconference meetings for support and accountability.
His Wife’s Response A tsunami of emotion rushed over the sands of my soul. My pulse quickened, and initial shock gave way to numbness as I scrolled through the horrendous contents of a hidden pornographic folder on my husband’s computer. Sadly, this was neither a first-time discovery, nor a one-time occurrence. Where does a wife go?* To whom does she turn? How can she wrap her mind around a partner who desires God’s will, yet indulges in the desires of the flesh? And what if that husband is a pastor or ministry leader? Why would a godly person seemingly abandon his beliefs and convictions and risk
[His Wife's Response] ONE 39
losing everything and everyone he loves? It just doesn’t make sense. Addiction never does. The first wave came without warning. I was basking in a blue ocean of blessings, totally unaware of the dark undercurrents and hidden secrets of my husband’s life. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, he voluntarily confessed his struggle with pornography. Reeling from shock, I fell to my knees. And, God provided the strength I needed to cope, to forgive, and to continue. He repented, sought counseling, and obtained accountability. I assumed we could get on with our life and ministry. Yet as we continued, so did the waves—sporadically at times, but each one swelled with greater intensity. After a few years of multiple discoveries, repentant confessions and repeated promises, I realized this was more than a one-timeprayer-at-the-altar kind of issue. A random read opened my mind to a new possibility. The author’s list of characteristics and repeated behaviors sounded all too familiar. We were living this cycle, and it had a name: sexual addiction. Sexual addiction and ministry seem to partner frequently. A friend who worked for a denominational help hotline recently recounted the multitude of calls she received daily from ministry wives concerning these issues. She believes ministry families are particularly vulnerable to these fiery darts from the enemy. Although sluggish to accept this reality, the evangelical world is now beginning to respond with resources and programs. Thankfully, many bound by sexual addiction are breaking free. But what about partners who’ve been pounded by the waves? Where does a wife turn? Turn to God and His Word. Focus particularly on His faithfulness. We can trust God, even if we can’t trust a husband. He can direct our steps and give us wisdom to know truth. God’s Word provides an unending source of strength, encouragement, and renewal. Throughout my journey, He has sent His Word into my situation time and again, providing discernment, guidance, and comfort. Seek Counsel. Go to God and His Word; then seek counsel as a next step. It’s wise, Proverbs 15:12 says. Proverbs also adds, “In the multitude of counselors is safety.“ Sadly, in our day, there’s also room for plenty of confusion. Many in our churches (even a good number of pastors) would encourage a wife to leave promptly or begin the process of divorce after repeated incidents. Others would listen intently, then send the story through the gossip mill, often in the spiritual sounding form of a prayer request. Finding good counsel can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to contact a trained
counselor or life coach. Obviously, Christians should seek Christian counseling. Many in secular psychology view pornography as acceptable. Some would challenge the existence of sexual addiction. A columnist in one psychology magazine recently poked fun at wives who consider themselves wounded or traumatized by a husband’s viewing of pornography. (Psychology Today, September 20, 2012. Dr. David J. Ley: “Abusing the Term Trauma”)
Sexual addiction and ministry seem to partner frequently. Still, good counsel may be difficult to obtain, even in Christian circles. Through the years, as my husband sought professional help, I would sometimes be included in a session. As counselors would suggest I do this or try that, I would come away feeling that his struggles were partly my fault, that my own inadequacies fueled his behaviors—that somehow, there wouldn’t be a problem if I were meeting his needs. God did not create women to be doormats. Rather, we were created complementary equals. God established hierarchy for the home in His image—fashioned after the Trinity. But sin and its resulting punishments caused the scale to tip, and from that time since, a woman’s desire is toward her husband. The enemy seeks to distort that desire to please—either through a tendency to control, fix, or condescend. Along the journey, I’ve attempted all of these. Yet my personal responses neither excuse nor justify my husband’s behavior. Ultimately, his choices are his choices. I am only responsible for my reactions to those choices. God has shown me that I do own several character defects; I seek to daily surrender these. Cautiously proceed. Although the field of sex addiction therapy continues to grow, Christian counselors trained in this area appear few among many. Typically, Christian counseling follows one of three models: Nouthetic model. Based primarily on Scripture, nouthetic counseling contends that the success of a husband’s recovery hinges on a wife’s level of spiritual commitment and submission to her husband. While this principle bears truth, under this model a wife also bears a heavy burden in believing her walk with God will either “make or break” a husband’s recovery. This model also emphasizes total healing and encourages claims of instantaneous deliverance. True healing comes in obeying God and accepting His will—whether or not a sin struggle goes away in this life-
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time. Beware of quick fixes. Yes, God can deliver and completely heal. But He can also use struggle as a platform for growth and continued dependence upon Him. This has been the case in our lives. Addict/Codependent model. This model serves as the mainstay for the majority of recovery options, including 12step programs. Twelve-step groups hold value. Completing the steps offers avenues for personal reflection and spiritual renewal as the Holy Spirit reveals areas of need and places for growth. God used a Christian 12-step program to change my life. Yet part of this model presumes that individuals with certain tendencies, missing childhood elements, or basic character flaws are attracted to individuals with addictive patterns or personalities. While these descriptors may be true for some, this codependent pattern does not fit everyone—especially the wife of a sex addict, who often knows nothing of her husband’s secret life. Trauma-based model. Psychologists have recently discovered that wives’ responses and behavioral reactions to their husbands’ addictive behaviors mirror those of women with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Further studies reveal that trauma-invoked responses mimic those of codependency. Treating the effects of sexual addiction as trauma offers hope for healing. Wives discover tangible ways to cope, without adding undue blame or reinflicting pain upon themselves. I’ve found this model most effective in my own journey to healing. Budget. Most ministry households operate on limited budgets. If a husband is seeking help for an addiction, more than likely, it comes at a cost. A wife’s emotional health and healing should rate equally with a husband’s treatment for addiction. But often, like the proverbial squeaky wheel that gets the grease, since he’s the one with the obvious problem, everything gets spent on a husband’s recovery, leaving a wife to fend for herself and heal on her own as best she can. Build room in the budget for both of you. If the dollars won’t stretch that far, budget time. Seek out free resources or low-cost opportunities. Christian counselors and ministry personnel are making more of these available as their case loads increase and the numbers of individuals with sexual addictions continue to rise. Many cannot keep up with the steady stream of new calls they receive each week. Start to Rebuild. Tsunami damage and destruction require
massive cleanup efforts. Yet after the storm comes the sun. New life can emerge from heaps of devastation. Homes can be rebuilt, more structurally sound and with added rein-
• N ew Hope for Sexual Integrity (www.newhope4si.com) Pas• • • • •
tor Darrell Brazell’s series for wives. A Circle of Joy Ministries (www.journeytohealingandjoy.com) Christian site provides helpful articles and continued support through groups and counseling. Offers a free session. Pure Intimacy (www. pureintimacy.org) A Focus on the Family site. Porn to Purity (www.porntopurity.com) Look under Resources tab: Wives of Sex Addicts. Hope and Freedom (www.hopeandfreedom.com) Former pastor and addiction specialist Dr. Milton Magness offers insight and help for both addicts and their partners. Covenant Eyes (www.covenanteyes.com) Tracking and accountability software also provides helpful resources for addicts and their families.
• Celebrate Recovery Find a group at www.celebraterecovery. com.
• S-Anon Contact www.sanon.org or call 615-833-3152 to •
find meeting times and locations. (Phone meetings and sponsorships are also available.) ISA (Infidelity Survivors Anonymous) www.isurvivors.org
forcements for protection against future storms. Trauma need not remain untreated. There is help and hope in the midst of the maelstrom. Restoration is possible. I know. My husband and I just celebrated another year of marriage and a full year of his sobriety from pornography and other forms of sexual sin. If you are caught in a storm, struggling against the waves, even fearful of drowning, the Savior still speaks peace. Turn to His Word. Seek good counsel. Trust God for healing. And find comfort in knowing you are not alone. Join the band of survivors who, through God’s strength, have weathered the storms. In His grace, we are still serving alongside our husbands, fighting for our marriages, rebuilding from the rubble and finding joy in the aftermath.
*Sexual addiction is not limited to men. A growing number of females seek help to overcome this addiction. Although the focus of this article is wives, information and resources should also prove helpful to ministry husbands married to addicts.
LEADER PROFILE>>> ONE 41
LeaderProfile Leadership comes in all forms and sizes, but the results are the same. Leaders influence behavior and make a difference in people’s lives. Profiling leaders shows a diverse combination of traits, but impacting lives is always a common theme. by Ron Hunter Jr.
Leaders can set some pretty audacious goals. So when Steven decided to plant a Free Will Baptist church in Moore, Oklahoma, that would be viable and self-supporting from day one, many wondered. Steven raised up-front seed money, and then Oklahoma Free Will Baptists gave the church a matching loan to launch Elevate Church, a church plant meeting at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College.
What does your quiet time look like? It’s a morning routine. I choose a verse from
either Psalms or a New Testament letter and center my heart on Christ while reading the passage. I read it slowly and repeatedly, underlining and meditating on phrases that leap off the page. I pray through the verses asking the Lord how should I apply the principles to my life then I silently wait, journaling the process.
What’s your biggest failure? Early in my ministry, I adopted a judgmental and argumentative spirit that damaged me, those I ministered to, and my family. I have deep regrets about that season of life. What would you like to see Free Will Baptists do in the next five or ten years?
Church planting is the single most effective form of evangelism. Church planting changes cultures in and outside of church. You reach people, or churches will cease to exist. It is the only way to overcome the natural attrition of churches within our movement. We can plant many more churches than we currently plant right now.
Do you exercise? I usually exercise intently for 5-6 months each year. Then I slip backwards. I’m starting to think about exercise again. Thanks for the guilt trip.
Tell us your kid’s names and give oneword descriptors about each of them. Alyssa, age 20 – leadership Kimmy, age 19 – compassion John-Mark, age 15 – charisma Mikayla, age 13 – hospitality Jeremy, age 11 – service
What are you reading right now?
Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek Amplified Leadership: Five practices to Establish Influence, Build People, and Impact Others for a Lifetime by Dan Reiland Conformed to His Image: Biblical and Practical Approaches to Spiritual Formation by Kenneth Boa
What are your top three books (other than the Bible)?
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a Revolution in Your Life in Christ by Pete Scazzero The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster
Paper or Plastic Questions
>> M ountains or Ocean? Ocean >> M usic or Talk Radio? Music >> C oke or Pepsi? Pepsi >> E mail or Texting? Texting >> M ac or PC? – PC, Steven says he is not “cool enough” to use a Mac. I disagree! >> S ocks or house shoes? Socks
Lots of prayer, missiological strategy, and a different approach allowed a launch of 300 people for opening day two years ago. The lowest quarter of attendance for Elevate averaged 180. Now, they are steadily averaging 280. Elevate has seen 150 people become Christ-followers. Even though it is a young church, Elevate has given over $20,000 to the Hillsdale relief effort for the Moore Tornado victims. Steven faced some tumultuous teen years in both his family and his spiritual walk. At age 17, Steven married Chrysty and moved closer to his grandfather, Homer Young, to be mentored and learn more about leadership. Possessing the gifts of evangelism and tremendous people skills, he loves to share Christ across the table over coffee, a meal, or just talking. Even before Elevate, Steven helped numerous church plants, both Spanish and English speaking works. He studied church planting for years and learned from others who effectively plant churches in a sustainable model from the very start. In 2007, Chrysty, Steven’s wife of 21 years received a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. The MS progressed rapidly and caused so many debilitating effects that Chrysty can no longer be independent, in spite of a significant investment in medical treatments. Steven reflected on how MS brought the two of them closer: “I don’t know that my spiritual maturity is developed enough to say I’m thankful for the illness, but I’m certainly thankful for what God is doing in our hearts and what we’re becoming in the process.”
Steven, you are a great leader!
42 ONE October–November 2013
Sudden Wealth: Blessing or Curse? By Bill and Brenda Evans
“There’ll be no surprises,”
we said during the inheritance conversation with our three sons. All legal documents were in order: updated wills, powers of attorney, living wills, and a Free Will Baptist Foundation charitable remainder trust to benefit our favorite ministries. We also said that we had saved and grown our financial resources to fund end-of-life needs. We showed them our plans.
Finally, we got around to inheritances and dropped the Big If on them: “If anything is left after the Lord’s work and after the healthcare, it will be yours.” Our sons laughed, because they knew, as we did, that what’s left may be the nickel-anddime stash one of us has secreted away…and there’s only one key. Or the odds and ends—mostly odds—stuffed into boxes in the attic, or maybe, just maybe, some of the green stuff. We didn’t skitter around the problematics either: if our lives are short, they’ll get more; if long and we require institutional healthcare, they’ll get less. We wanted open dialogue, and so much of the conversation was questions and answers, opinions and responses. It ended up being, as it should be, a give and take between the two of us and our heirs. At the end, our sons thanked us for the conversation and said it was a good thing for both them and us. We agreed. We are not saying that inheritance conversations are easy. They can be emotional landmines, with awful explosives just waiting to be stepped on, but the best way to deal with landmines is to figure out how to spot them and dig them up ahead of time. We did that and want to share some of the landmines we found.
[Sudden Wealth] ONE 43
First, your net worth makes a difference. A high net worth means sudden wealth for your heirs; a low net worth means they may have to pay for your healthcare as long as you live. Either way, they need to know ahead of time. Sudden wealth can be a blessing or a curse. We dealt with that in Part 1, so revisit that article if you need to. But too little also impacts your children, and they need time to prepare for that as well. Have those conversations.
Second, privacy about money is not al-
that. Veronica Dagher, for example, a columnist for Wealth Management at WSJ.com says that avoiding the inheritance conversation causes “confusion, mistrust and leaves heirs unprepared.” The point is that surprises, whether negative or positive, are bad, and preparation, for both the giver and receiver, is good. Take this example: you are a prosperous business owner, and you would like to pass the business along to your three children, but only one of them is currently involved. The other two don’t seem to care who gets it. Don’t believe them. Your children are human. When inheritance time comes, jealousy, greed, distrust, and what-is-right-and-fair suddenly jump to the front. Count on it. Don’t leave your heirs in that mess. Have those conversations, perhaps many of them. Sort it out as happily as you can, but don’t think you must please everyone. God has given you what you have, and you are responsible to leave it behind wisely at death. You are the one who counts most, so do what you must do and make it legal ahead of time.
study by U. S. Trust indicated that more than half of high net worth parents had not fully disclosed their wealth to their children. Why? Some already have shallow or broken family communications and wealth magnifies that brokenness along with other family problems, according to Vic Preisser of a California family-wealth consultancy. Wealthy parents also worry that they will spoil their children or make them lazy and dependent, so they conceal the extent of their wealth. Jim Grubman, a veteran family-wealth counselor, has watched that silence backfire. “There are so many horror stories,” he says, from deer-in-the-headlights paralysis to uncontrolled spending, isolation, addiction, and depression. Preisser recommends that families develop a mission statement regarding money and its appropriate use. Stories are good, too, Preisser says, especially those that give children perspective about how that wealth was created and conserved, or what money means (or doesn’t mean) to the family.
ways good, especially when it comes to our heirs. All the experts whom we have read agree with us on
the larger the bequest, the more urgent is the need for communication. A 2012
Don’t leave your heirs in that mess.
Have those conversations, perhaps many of them. Sort it out as happily as you can, but don’t think you must please everyone.
44 ONE August–September 2013
Fourth, conversations about inheritances are op-
portunities to demonstrate our values. Nathan Dungan, founder and president of Share Save Spend, recommends that parents begin early to identify and articulate money values. To us, Dungan seems to propose a say-and-see model: speak your values but model them as well. For example, he advises setting short- and longterm goals in sharing, saving, and spending. Then, he says, put those goals into practice with values-based allowances for small children, part-time jobs for mid-teens and older, budget instruction and tracking, and family philanthropy projects. These, along with an annual summit to discuss and review money goals, will build heirs’ confidence and competence in finances before the money is theirs alone. Nancy Armstrong, senior wealth dynamics coach at Ascent Private Capital Management of U. S. Bank, says parents need to keep saying it aloud: “Yes, we are wealthy....but we are even richer in terms of who we are as a family.” The aim is to both speak and model your values. To us, an inheritance conversation is, among other things, one more opportunity to show both verbally and concretely what money does and does not mean to our family. Any way you look at our own
legal documents, you will see that our sons—whom we love dearly— are in third place. First, we will leave money to various Free Will Baptist ministries through a charitable remainder trust at Free Will Baptist Foundation, established long before we had the inheritance conversation. Second, the two of us will pay for our own upkeep and health care as long as there is money, house, land, truck, or junk in the attic left in our names. We will deplete it all if we have to and then find a way to live out our lives on whatever our income is. In other words, we don’t plan to hide money or give it away early to our children so we can count on government agencies to pay for our end-of life healthcare. Finally, whatever is left at the end will go to our sons, their wives, and our grandchildren, our precious heritage, reward, and crown from the Lord. Veronica Dagher says two topics are really tough for parents to talk about. You guessed them: sex and money. You know by now that we’re not asking you to talk about sex. Here’s what we are asking: talk about money; specifically, have that conversation. Make your child’s inheritance, large or small, a blessing not a curse.
About the Writers: Bill Evans, former director of the Free Will Baptist Foundation, lives in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, with his wife Brenda, a retired English teacher. Visit www. fwbgifts.org for more information on planned giving that benefits your favorite ministry.
What does security look like? With a Charitable Gift Annuity, you can enjoy secure, fixed income for life regardless of how the stock market performs. Your gift will not only benefit Home Missions, it will also benefit you. Contact Free Will Baptist Foundation: Single Table
877-336-7575 www.FWBGifts.org firstname.lastname@example.org
BROWN ON GREEN>>> ONE 45
Brown on Green When Will the Economy Get Better? The X-Factor
The boom in shale oil and gas exploration could be the X-factor that gets the sluggish economy moving again.
About the Writer: David Brown, CPA, became director of the Free Will Baptist Foundation in 2007. Send your questions to David at david@nafwb. org. To learn how the Foundation can help you become a more effective giver, call 877-336-7575.
The U.S. economy continues to plug along at less than 3% GDP growth. While new jobs are being created, it is slow, and projections tell us it will be at least a year or more before unemployment drops to 6.5%. Is there any good news? Yes. The boom in shale oil and gas exploration could be the X-factor that gets the sluggish economy moving again. Many experts project the United States will become the worldâ€™s top producer of oil by 2020, and some think it will happen sooner. Independence from imported oil is expected by 2030. Natural gas should begin exporting within a few years due to the abundance discovered within our own borders. Some factors helping the U.S. become oil-independent are not related to the shale oil boom. The sale of more hybrid cars has begun to reduce the demand for oil. New, tougher mileage standards for automobile manufacturers will be a significant factor. Even the use of solar and wind energy is reducing oil usage, and trucking companies are switching to natural gas to power their fleets. This boom is already affecting our economy, and its effects will begin to snowball over the next few years. The abundance of natural gas has caused many factories to shift operations from overseas to return home. This is especially true of manufacturers that use gas in their production process. Due to the low cost of natural gas, diesel truck fleets are quickly being converted to this new energy source to power their trucks. This has the twin effect of reducing the consumption of petroleum and putting downward pressure on the price of crude oil. Producing more oil domestically will also push the price down and stabilize gasoline prices. Many believe this could push gasoline prices to around $3 per gallon by 2016. Keeping gasoline prices lower and stable will stimulate the economy as people spend less on gasoline and more on goods and services. When will this X-factor take place? Many economists believe we will begin to see the effects of these changes by 2016 or 2017. An improving economy lifts all boats, so, hopefully, recovery will take place sooner rather than later. As we get Americans working again, our churches and ministries will enjoy the effects of a blossoming economy.
46 ONE October–November 2013
Retirement: Journey, Not Destination.
By John Brummitt
“Retirement is a journey, not a destination.” It is a catchy phrase. Short and simple; looks good on an exhibit at a convention. It conveys the thought that you don’t arrive at retirement and say, “I am done,” but rather “What else can I do?” Retirement professionals stress how important it is to start saving for retirement as soon as possible, to save as much as possible. They throw out facts and figures that, while they have their place, just go in one ear and out the other, with little impact. True, you should be saving for retirement, but retirement income is only a small part of the equation. Retirement is not an extended vacation but a major, life-changing event.
[Retirement: Journey, Not Destination] ONE 47
My father has been a bi-vocational pastor since I was a toddler. Until I went to Welch College, I just assumed his full-time “job on the side” was the way most pastors carried out their ministries. Dad could hardly wait to “retire” into a full-time pastorate. Recently, he did retire from his “day job” and started living the good life. But he soon discovered he had been striving for a destination rather than preparing for a journey. He looked at retirement as the end, only to learn he still had a long way to go. He quickly discovered that “retirement as vacation” was not reality. The “good life” he imagined turned out to be as challenging as his previous day job. This idea that retirement is a permanent vacation frustrates many people after they actually retire. Vacations last a week, maybe two or three on rare occasions. What makes us think that retirement, which often lasts 20 years or longer, could possibly be the same? Think about your last family vacation…how much planning you and your spouse did for that week. I’m sure you didn’t look at your spouse and blurt out, “Well, we need a vacation this summer, so let’s start saving money.” No, we research, plan, and pore over details, and that is for a single week. How much more should we plan for the years of retirement? We need to think beyond the destination to what we will do when we get there. If you spend months planning a week-long vacation, how much time do you need to plan for 20-plus years of retirement?
Tackle the Tough Questions
We all know the earlier we start saving the better. Money is definitely a part of what you need in retirement, and it is the easy part. The tougher questions come once we get there (or get close). Where will we live? What health challenges will we face? What will we do with our time? What will be our ministry? These questions are not easy, and they change constantly, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan for them. Your health will determine much of what you do in retirement. Take steps now to live a healthy lifestyle so you can enjoy the journey of retirement to the fullest. Where we live in retirement often depends on what we can afford and where our families—especially grandchildren—live. If you are preparing to live close to your children, plan ahead for the cost of changing locations. If you plan to change locations, don’t expect to spend all your time with the grandkids. Your children and grandkids didn’t re-
tire when you did; they will still be juggling busy schedules and careers. When you move closer, plan to get out, be active, and get involved in your new church and community. This will help you determine your retirement ministry and how you spend your time.
Retirees can be great kingdom workers because they are available, but you have to plan ahead in order to be used fully.
Establish a Game Plan Have a game plan for retirement. Many people have a general idea of what they would like to do in retirement. My dad wanted to pastor full-time, but he didn’t plan for the details of the transition from bi-vocational to full-time ministry. Many people say, “I am going to fish and play more golf when I retire.” Fishing and golfing are fine, and you should enjoy your retirement. But after 40 years of working five or six days a week, a few weeks without a plan—without something to get up for—is all most retirees can handle. The Christian retiree has the opportunity to be involved in full-time ministry. You may not pastor like my father, but you can volunteer at youth camps, help run Vacation Bible School, coordinate after-school Bible studies, and the list goes on and on from church to community. Retirees can be great kingdom workers because they are available, but you have to plan ahead in order to be used fully. Vacations are great, and you will still need to plan them after you retire…if you prepare for your retirement. My dad is planning the rest of his journey now. Steps he should have taken while still working have caught up with him now. At some point in the future, he will probably retire again from his current pastoral position, but that is not where his ministry will end. He will face another transition period, but he will be prepared, with a game plan, when that time comes.
About the Writer: John Brummitt graduated in 2011 with an MBA from Tennessee Tech University. A 2004 graduate of Welch College, he has been with the Board of Retirement since the spring of 2006.
48 ONE Octoberâ€“November 2013
Living Longer, Saving Less By Norma Jackson Goldman
According to U.S. government sources, the average life expectancy in 1970 for males was 67.1 years, 74.7 for females.1 By 2015, it is projected to be 76.4 for males and 81.4 for females. This is a very significant rise, with profound effects on retirement planning for those under 65, and on managing income wisely for those have already retired. Since Americans are living longer, Baby Boomers2 can expect to live as many as 25 years in retirement! At the same time, Americans are saving less than previous generations. Except for one brief upsurge at the end of 2012, savings rates per capita hover at about 2.5% of personal income. With interest paid on savings at historic lows, seniors must search for wise investment alternatives to make their nest eggs grow. Many seniors feel compelled to continue to help children and grandchildren financially, so the impact of insufficient retirement savings is huge. One of the best investments any senior can make in a young person is to pay the cost of a Christian money-management course. Such training is invaluable for making a lifetime of good spending and saving decisions.
Havenâ€™t Retired Yet? Consider working longer. Even when full benefits are available at 65, many eligible retirees continue to work for another three to five years as health and job availability permits. Benefits are adjusted upward each year, and in many cases, employers extend insurance benefits for the non-working spouse. Wait for full benefits from Social Security by postponing the date when you begin drawing a check. This is frightening to seniors who worry that sufficient funds will not be available at retirement. Yet, there is a substantial difference in the monthly benefit paid to individuals who opt for drawing Social Security at age 65 versus age 62. If youâ€™re in poor health or unemployed, waiting until age 65 may not be an option, but by working until 65, regular payroll contributions will increase the long-term benefits.
[Living Longer, Saving Less] ONE 49
Already Retired? Managing monthly expenses is key; pay extra attention to your budget. Here are some good places to look: > Eating out is still a major budget buster for Americans. > Cut the cable bill and spend more time reading, walking, and enjoying friends. > Simplify gift giving; make your time together the focus of holidays rather than gifts. > Eliminate a land line. Today, most alarm systems can work with a cell phone so ask your service provider to help. > Monitor utility use carefully. Reset the thermostat when away for extended periods. Lowering it by only a few degrees makes a big difference in monthly bills. Establish “balanced billing” with your gas or electric company, making monthly charges predictable and easy to budget. > “Living beneath your means” is a way to prepare for unexpected emergencies which surface with alarming regularity. - Mortgage payments rise as a result of property tax increases. - Appliances have shorter lives than those in previous decades. - Seniors experience huge increases in medical expenses.
Multi-Generational Household? Nearly 17% of the population lives in homes with at least two adult generations (parents/grown children, parents/ grandparents), and sometimes three! Reasons include out-of-work children and aging parents. For some, it’s the realization that the cost of maintaining three residences makes no sense when all can share in maintaining one. Social security checks that don’t go very far look bigger when pooled with other adults in a single home. Builders recognize this growing trend and many new homes feature privacy and comfort for multi-generational households. Living longer, saving less requires a major shift in our thinking and the application of the best skills in budgeting and planning we can muster!
About the Writer: Former magazine editor Norma J. Goldman enjoys a successful freelance career in her retirement. The award-winning writer lives near Nashville, TN. Learn more about retirement options at www.boardofretirement.com. 1 White, American citizens; ethnic and non-American life expectancies are substantially less
A Labor of
2 The generation born in the US between 1946 and 1964, some 76 million strong
Many retired pastors and their widows need financial assistance each month. The Board of Retirement’s Labor of Love Endowment will provide the extra help, but the greater blessing for these servants of the Lord will be to see the care and compassion their Free Will Baptist family has shown them in their hour of need.
50 ONE October–November 2013
It sat at the corner of a side pew for months. From my seat on the organ, I peered toward it every Sunday and wondered why no one claimed it. It appeared to be made of wood and in reasonably good repair—still useful, though well worn. It was a bit marred in places, scraped and scarred, owing to its age and handling, I imagined. Every Sunday when I arrived at church, I expected it to be gone, but it remained in its place though apparently moved a bit for cleaning and dusting. I mentioned the object to the pastor, but he discounted it as not really important and stated that eventually someone would take it away. “After all,” he suggested, “it is not all that obtrusive.” I wondered nevertheless why he or one of the deacons had not investigated it or at least inquired of the congregation, or why one of the cleaning persons had not discarded it (though I hated the thought). Why no one else was inquisitive, I did not know; but no one seemed interested or bothered by its presence, and some were probably neutral, perhaps oblivious to its being there. Maybe some had simply not noticed, but usually such out-of-place articles did not claim an unwarranted spot for long. Generally they were taken to the church office or assigned to a cluttered table with other castoffs, or to an adjoining room or closet. I was curious but respectful. I still looked at it momentarily every Sunday from my vantage point at the organ. I thought it must have a story to tell, and after one evening service I could not restrain myself further. Something not mine had never before posed any real temptation. I did not know what to make of this feeling. I stood momentarily in front of the object, then lifted the lid and marveled at what I found inside: a leather volume imprinted with golden lettering with the symbols of a stained-glass window and a cross embossed upon its crimson cover.
[The Little Brown Box] ONE 51
I picked it up, held it for a long moment, then leafed through the volume reluctantly, almost tenderly—as though I were an unintentional intruder—wondering whose hands and eyes had stayed here and there on its pages, caressing it for untold hours—even days. I hoped that he or she would not mind my avid interest, my invasion of something not my own. The print was large. I reckoned this volume had belonged to an older person whose eyesight had dimmed or who wanted to read its truths easily without the aid of glasses. I thought of a very tiny, elderly woman at my home church; I could envision her seated near the aisle, holding the Book on her lap while she gathered her shawl around her thin shoulders (like many of her era) against a real or imagined chill, but who believed every word of comfort, every promise, and “every chapter, every verse, every line,” as she had said. I thought of an old man who always sat on the back row. Taking his pew early without fail, he sat quietly but was attentive to his surroundings, sometimes bending over his copy as if in prayer or solitary review. He would lift his head only when the minister made a strong point of exposition. Then he would intone a soft “Amen” and resume his posture. He had become a fixture. I could see both of them in my mind although I certainly could not ascribe them ownership (except in a symbolic way). But I was glad that I had saved the memory of them and their reverence and of the sanctuary that had been so much a part of them, and of me. As I held the Book and remembered, I choked back some emotion as a tear fell. I quickly wiped it off from where my hand had guided me: Psalm 91. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” My favorite assurance, it seemed a perfect place to have landed. Scanning the thin sheets, I found many of the pages bent, a few torn, one or two soiled, and others wrinkled and faded but with still-legible print. I searched for a name—any handwriting that might provide a clue as to ownership, perhaps an address, or date. But I could find none; this seemed strange given the obvious value. I found only markings here and there and underscoring of favorite passages, highlighted words and phrases, and a few written-in remarks beside special verses. I fairly discerned the thoughts of one or several who here had planted their hopes.
The writing on various pages, in margins, and between columns reminded me of my late parents’ backward-slanted penmanship: carefully drawn in measured style as if to savor meaningful passages, but disinclined to mark them badly, as the treasure of this Book was inestimable and the truth herein eternal. On the inside back cover I could discern a block of twelve carefully printed capital letters: G I O R A S — A V P H I T. I would try to decipher their meaning later. G I O R A S — A V P H I T. I handled the Book carefully, almost too carefully, and nearly dropped it as I tried to picture who last might have used it and had left it here, whether intentional or not. And replacing the volume to its resting place, I hoped (even prayed) that someone would claim it and continue to cherish it as before. Surely it had been important to some-
“Love, sometimes, is not so easily seen,” my mother had once told me, “but it is always within reach.” one, somewhere—perhaps a visitor to this church who, in haste or perhaps during conversation, had forgotten it. But why in a box? “Love, sometimes, is not so easily seen,” my mother had once told me, “but it is always within reach.” I do not know why this thought came to me while pondering this little brown box and what it contained, except the whole story of it was love. The Book itself bore witness: it was well within reach, though not immediately obvious. Several more months passed. The box remained, again to be moved slightly out of position by those who cleaned or sat on the pew. It continued to hold little if any interest for anyone. Once more I mentioned “it” to the pastor; he shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, smiled, and went his way with a parting remark: “Obviously no one wants it.” No one? It was then that I decided to take it home. No one would miss it if I took it away; apparently no one cared or had considered it of any consequence. I did feel a tinge of reluctance and concern, for I did not want to take that which was not mine, but neither did I want to leave it abandoned, holding a thankless place even in this sanctuary of peace.
52 ONE October–November 2013
I prayed that when I took it, the owner would know that someone cared enough to want it and would use it. Was I wrong to take it? I asked the Lord. He did not answer except in that still small voice that assuaged my sense of guilt: the impression of His Spirit that had ministered so often before during my moments of indecision. I hoped I had not deprived another of its worth; I prayed that when I took it, the owner would know that someone cared enough to want it and would use it. Although I own several Bibles, this is the one that now goes to church with me; this is the one I use when speaking from the pulpit, when teaching Sunday School, when studying, or when having daily devotions. This is the one I always use . . . feeling the spirit of those who have read it before and who, for whatever reason, had left it for another who would appreciate its worth. It fairly begged to be used. Surely there were many others who could read its message and find whatever they needed: forgiveness and consolation, repentance or saving grace—a myriad of accommodations for the hungry spirit, a balm of healing for the broken heart and the sin-sick soul. Surely there were some who required this Book, who were bereft of scriptural admonitions and spiritual understandings. Perhaps for them this Book could have eternal meaning, but unless read, it would avail them naught. I had to believe that I had acted wisely, judiciously; I had to believe I had done the right thing, that I was justified in taking it. One recent morning at church, while poring over the minister’s text for the day, my eyes settled upon 12 words
that brought a proverbial chill to my spine: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” G I O R A S A V P H I T: an appropriate injunction for the faithful. Perhaps my supposed discernment was a stretch. Whether this was the intended meaning or not, the blocked letters on the inside of the back cover could now be related to an assertion of particular significance. It made sense to me; it certainly fit. I could not know, but for the former owner, maybe this was a reminder of that security that he or she had found, and on which he leaned. I prayed the fervent prayer of seeking: searching for further enlightenment, although I felt secure in my faith. After many months of wondering, pondering, and what seems now like years of holding on to this Book, I have gained a new appreciation for the unclaimed blessings of Divine Providence. I well understand that others have a right to question my thoughts; they have a right to doubt the spiritual interchanges with which I dealt regarding something so simple as a little brown box and the Book it contained. Others may be justified in relegating my reasoning to the workings of an imaginative and sentimental mind, the too-emotional musings of a senior Christian. And in truth, upon cursory notice (even with careful inspection), the little brown box and what it contained were nothing all that special. Considering the millions of Bibles printed and sold, read and unread, this Bible was just another Bible despite its unusual “packaging.” That is safe to assume—but since it is now a precious possession holding a valued status, I cannot help but wonder. Although I am not one who subscribes blindly to “divine appointments,” I have nevertheless arrived at a simple but obvious conclusion. Somehow (and for a reason yet to be determined), this Bible must have been meant for me.
About the Writer: A graduate of East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, Tommy Manning is now a retired editor/writer, and has worked in Christian publishing for more than 50 years. For a short while he studied at Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, Tennessee, and pursed further Bible studies in Atlanta, Georgia. A native of Ayden, North Carolina, he currently resides in San Antonio, Texas, where he is actively engaged in the music of the church, having served as a church organist from the time he was 16.
NEWS About the DENOMINATION>>> ONE 53
News About the Denomination Ryan Lewis Achieves CMP Status ANTIOCH, TN—Ryan Lewis, executive administrator for the National Association of Free Will Baptists, earned the CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) designation from the Convention Industry Council in July. Only a small percentage of conference planners and industry insiders achieve this honor due to the stringent requirements and comprehensive testing. Free Will Baptists have long been regarded as pioneers in the religious meetings industry. Lewis follows in the footsteps of previous convention planners Jack Williams (who not only earned the CMP designation but also was among the first recipients), Keith Burden, Melvin Worthington, and Dean Jones. “The CMP designation is an important achievement for any planner,” Ryan said. “It shows a commitment to excellence and continuing education in the field. Free Will Baptists have developed a strong reputation in the religious meeting industry due to the efforts of my predecessors, and I want to uphold the high standard they set.” Executive administrator since 2008, Ryan plans and manages the annual convention and leadership conference, represents the Executive Office at state meetings, assists in coordinating leadership training, and oversees www.fwbpastor.com, a website dedicated to providing practical resources for pastors. “The CMP designation is awarded only to those who meet high standards of proficiency in meeting management, as demonstrated by substantial professional experience and superior examination performance,” said Executive Secretary Keith Burden. “We are extremely proud of Ryan for this achievement. It not only increases his effectiveness as a meeting planner, but it gives credibility to the denomination within the meetings industry.” Ryan graduated from Welch College in 2005 after being voted Most Outstanding Student. After graduation, he joined the college staff as director of student recruitment until accepting an associate pastor position at First FWB Church, Amory, Mississippi. He and his wife Ashlee attend Cofer’s Chapel FWB Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where he serves as music director. They have two children, Carter and Ella-Claire.
Archie Ratliff Remembered KINSTON, NC— Pastor Archie Wayne Ratliff, 63, senior pastor of Bethel FWB Church, Kinston, North Carolina, passed away Monday, December 17, 2012, at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He battled and defeated esophageal cancer in 2009, but the radiation and chemotherapy treatments later resulted in leukemia. Reverend Ratliff was born November 29, 1949, in Anderson, Indiana, to John and Lucille Elliott Ratliff. Following graduation from Welch College in Nashville, Tennessee, Archie pastored Glennville FWB Church (GA) for five years, and Peace FWB Church (IN) for 13 years, before accepting the pastorate at Bethel in 1991. Ratliff is remembered for his role in Free Will Baptist leadership. He served on the Board of Trustees of Welch College for eight years, moderated the Indiana State Association of Free Will Baptists from 1983-1990, and was deeply involved with the work of Free Will Baptist International Missions. Ratliff is survived by Portia, his wife of 43 years; three daughters: Kim Truett and husband Chris, Michelle Williams and husband Rusty, Jenifer Carnes and husband Adam; and nine grandchildren.
Symposium Dates Announced MOORE, OK—The Commission for Theological Integrity will host the 17th annual Theological Symposium, October 28-29, 2013, at Hillsdale College in Moore, Oklahoma. Make plans now to join this important discussion. Contact the commission to pre-order the latest issue of Integrity: A Journal of Christian Thought: Matt Pinson, Commission for Theological Integrity, 3606 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37205 • 800-763-9222
54 ONE October–November 2013
Photo: Mark Cowart
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Keith Burden, CMP Executive Secretary National Association of Free Will Baptists
Free Will Baptists have met at an annual convention for more than 75 years. We conduct the denomination’s business, worship corporately, and fellowship with one another. For many, it’s one of the highlights of the year. Ten years ago, the convention was upside down financially. Over the life of the Free Will Baptist convention, expenses had exceeded income by more than $200,000. Since then, the deficit has been erased and a modest amount of surplus funds have accumulated. God has been faithful, and so have Free Will Baptists. However, during that 10-year time span a nagging problem has developed. Three of the last five years, the convention has faced attrition fees—penalties paid to hotels for failure to fill contracted rooms. Our convention paid $54,000 in attrition fees to two hotels in Tampa, Florida, this past July. Hotel contracts are usually signed 7-10 years in advance. The number of rooms reserved (blocked) are based on previous years usage (pickup). As you can imagine, anticipating convention attendance or projecting how many rooms attendees will use this far in advance is not an exact science. Convincing hotels to reduce the room block once a contract has been signed is becoming increasingly difficult. In view of these challenges, we have had no choice but to reduce the room blocks for future conventions. Additional options are being explored. Housing policies are being re-evaluated and may be adjusted. Line item expenses in the convention budget will be scrutinized. At this point, everything is on the table. Obviously, some of these cost-saving steps could potentially impact the convention in unfavorable ways. We hope this is not neces-
sary. However, the convention simply cannot afford to continue paying penalties for empty hotel rooms.
Our convention paid $54,000 in attrition fees to two hotels in Tampa, Florida, this past July.
Honest efforts are being made to manage the size of room blocks and cost of hotel rooms because we take our stewardship responsibility seriously. If you plan to attend the 2014 convention in Fort Worth, Texas, it will be very helpful if you stay in one of the convention hotels. If you are wondering why you should do that, I can give you 54,000 good reasons!
Your new window on the world of missions: www.FWBGO.com
A Legacy of Leadership... Few men have influenced Free Will Baptists like Damon Dodd. After graduating in the first class of Welch College, Dodd and his wife Sylvia became missionaries to Cuba. When the couple returned to the states, the denomination tapped Dodd for leadership, and he became executive secretary from 1949-53. In 1953, he accepted the challenge of leading Home Missions to open a national office and became the departmentâ€™s first full-time promotional secretary. In time, Dodd left the position to pastor churches in Georgia, but for decades he continued to serve on national boards and committees. He became a prolific author and historian, and today his legacy of leadership continues, in Georgia and across the denomination. Shouldnâ€™t you begin your own Home Missions legacy today with an endowment through FWB Foundation?
Free Will Baptist Foundation www.fwbgifts.org | 877-336-7575 (now on Facebook)